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Rahm Emanuel

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:21pm
Sat Sep 7, 2013

Ald. Hairston To Help Bring New Alternative High School To South Shore

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) says she will work with community stakeholders and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to bring a new alternative high school to the South Shore neighborhood now that plans have fizzled for the building of a Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy campus in her ward, which she opposed.

On Friday, a representative from Bridgescape, a national alternative high school operator, said it would open its second Chicago campus next month in Roseland, instead of the previously proposed South Shore site at 7037 S. Stony Island Ave.

Hairston strongly opposed the planned Bridgescape site in her community, saying South Shore residents wanted to see more businesses come to Stony Island Avenue, not a school. The proposed site was also across the street from the Children's Developmental Institute. An alternative high school, with students who may be "experiencing some difficulties",  wouldn't be a "good fit" near a day care, the alderman told DNAinfo Chicago earlier this week.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
12:51pm
Thu Sep 5, 2013

Minneapolis Mayor To Chicago's Gay Couples: 'Our City Would Like To Marry You' (VIDEO)

With a slogan that reads “I want to marry you in Minneapolis”, the city's mayor, R.T. Rybak, unveiled a Chicagoland ad campaign on Thursday urging the city's LGBTQ couples to make the six-hour drive to the City of Lakes to get legally married.

"Chicago is my kind of town, but it's a second city in human rights. Right now, that gives a tremendous competitive advantage to Minneapolis,” said Rybak, who announced the campaign from the roof of the Center On Halsted, at 3656 N. Halsted St., a community center catered to LGBTQ Chicagoans in the heart of the Boystown neighborhood.

“The people who built this neighborhood, who have done so much incredible work in this community, you deserve equal rights,” he said. “Come to Minnesota, a place that recognizes that you already should have those rights."

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
5:43pm
Wed Aug 28, 2013

CPS Boycott: Hundreds Of Parents & Students Protest 'Insulting' Budget Cuts (VIDEO)

While the Chicago Board of Education was voting to approve an overwhelmingly reduced budget for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) on Wednesday, roughly 500 protesters descended upon City Hall to demand Mayor Rahm Emanuel bring in an elected school board and “answer to the people whose lives he is turning upside down.” Progress Illinois was there for the action.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
12:15pm
Mon Aug 26, 2013

CPS Students Head Back To School, Safe Passage Program Takes Center Stage

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students have made their way back to class today, marking the first day of school since the Chicago Board of Education voted to shutter 50 neighborhood schools in May. Forty-eight of those schools were closed in June. 

Today is also the first day the expanded Safe Passage program has gone into effect, which is meant to help students safely travel to and from school as thousands of children trek to unfamiliar schools this year as a result of the closings. Many of the welcoming schools are located farther away from students' homes than their previous school, leading critics of the closings to say the move puts children at an increased risk of falling prey to gang violence or predators. Just one day before school began, a 28 year-old man was shot along a Safe Passage route and a 14 year-old boy was shot and killed less than a block away from Melody Stem School, a West Side welcoming school. Nonetheless, CPS insists the hundreds of workers in the Safe Passage program will provide students with the necessary security and supervision needed to keep them safe.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:52am
Mon Aug 26, 2013

The CivicLab Illuminates Oak Park's TIF Program

Oak Park’s tax increment financing (TIF) program may operate on a smaller scale compared to the city of Chicago’s controversial economic development program, but it too has major transparency and accountability flaws, suburban residents said at a town hall meeting Sunday. 

The three TIF districts in Oak Park sucked up $164 million in property tax revenue since their inception up until the end of 2012, according to an analysis by the CivicLab, a Chicago-based non-profit focused on providing citizens with data and tools for civic engagement.

In 2012 alone, Oak Park’s three TIF districts took in $10.6 million in tax revenue, and the village spent almost $7 million of that money, the CivicLab found.

“I hope somewhere there is a spreadsheet that tells you what (the village) did with that money, and if there isn’t, you need to go get it, in my opinion,” the CivicLab’s co-founder Tom Tresser told about 15 community members at the meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
1:49pm
Thu Aug 22, 2013

Education Activists Call For CPS Boycott (VIDEO)

A group of Chicago education activists are hoping thousands of students take part in an August 28 boycott of a school system, they say, is acting as a destabilizing force in low-income communities of color.

Next Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education is scheduled to vote on a proposed budget for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district, which has proposed some $68 million in school budget cuts. Next Wednesday is also the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous speech calling for equality for African Americans. The March on Washington was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in U.S. history.

“Part of our democracy is speaking up when you are being dealt an injustice, part of our history in this country is being able to peacefully express your frustration when policies do not treat you right,” said Jitu Brown, an education organizer for the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO). “Young people will definitely get a lesson in representative democracy on this day.”

At a press conference on Thursday outside of the mayor’s office, Brown and approximately 50 education activists announced plans for the city-wide, one-day school boycott. The group also plans to stay away from the Chicago Board of Education meeting.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:24pm
Wed Aug 21, 2013

Experts: New Chicago Food Desert Numbers Not As 'Rosy' As Emanuel Says

Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the population of food deserts in Chicago declined 21 percent over the past two years thanks to 15 new grocery stores, additional farmers markets and more produce carts. But those working on the ground to combat food-access issues in Chicago say the new numbers are not as sweet as they appear.

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