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Rahm Emanuel

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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:27pm
Thu Jun 13, 2013

The Pros And Cons Of Chicago’s TIFWorks Program

Chicago's TIFWorks program provides tax increment financing (TIF) funds to help cover workforce-training costs for employers. Job trainers say the program offers much-needed resources for workforce development. But others say TIFWorks needs to be more transparent and accountable. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the program.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:02pm
Wed Jun 12, 2013

DePaul Arena Project A 'Monstrosity,' TIF Panelists Say

Chicago's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Program is intended to take property taxes today for investments that will produce more property taxes in the future, the Chicago Reader's Ben Joravsky said at a TIF forum Tuesday night.

"I have no problem with the TIF program in the essence, but we don’t live in the essence. We live in Chicago, Illinois," said Joravsky, a panelist at the packed TIF Illumination Project's town hall meeting for the 50th Ward.

Joravsky said the city's TIF program has become "deranged" and blasted Mayor Rahm Emanuel's recent plan to kick in $55 million in TIF funds for a new DePaul University basketball arena near McCormick Place.

The $55 million would be used to buy the current property now paying property taxes and essentially turn it into a tax-exempt property.

"It’s a complete reversal of what the whole TIF program is about,” Joravsky said at the forum, held at Devon Bank Tuesday night.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:42pm
Wed Jun 5, 2013

Taxpayers Protest TIF Funding Of DePaul's New Basketball Arena (VIDEO)

The allocation of $55 million of Chicago’s tax increment financing (TIF) dollars for the building of a new DePaul University basketball arena at McCormick Place is “unjust,” according to a group of approximately 20 protesters who took their message to the university’s student center Wednesday.

“A private university can fund their own stadium,” said Adenia Linker, 45, a member of the education advocacy group, Raise Your Hand, and participant in Wednesday’s protest. “I understand the need for tourism dollars and the need to bring people to the lake, but we also need the infrastructure of education for the next generation.”

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
9:58am
Tue Jun 4, 2013

Parents Unite At Lafayette Elementary, Pledge To Continue Fight Against Closing (VIDEO)

The fight against school closures is not over, according to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) parents who strategized Monday morning at Jean D. Lafayette Elementary on Chicago’s West Side.

“CPS gave us this mess and a rushed enrollment process and we will not stand for it,” said Rousemary Vega, 32, an organizer of Monday’s meeting and parent of two students enrolled at Lafayette Elementary. “We’ve been fighting individually, but it has to stop. We need to get moms together and get moms involved to save our schools.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:58pm
Fri May 31, 2013

West Side Education Activists Plan New Strategy To Fight School Closings

West Side education activists say they have a new tactic to stop school closings in Chicago. The plan involves filing stacks of parent complaints with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.

The strategy is centered around the adverse affects the school closings will have on disabled and African-American students, said Elce Redmond with the South Austin Community Coalition.

The plan aims to mobilize the community and further expose how closing 50 neighborhood schools, concentrated on the South and West Sides, will impact children. Redmond said the goal is to send busloads of people to deliver the complaints to the civil rights office in Chicago and possibly have people go to Washington.

"We want to go to the Department of Education and say, 'Listen, based on these complaints, we have a very serious crisis here,'" Redmond said at a West Side community meeting Thursday night. "And a serious crisis that as a federal government, who is supposedly in charge of protecting young people, you have to step in and do something."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:21pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Protesters Call On Obama To Reject Keystone Pipeline, Stop Deportations (VIDEO)

Environmentalists and comprehensive immigration reform advocates protested outside Chicago's Downtown Hilton where President Barack Obama and other key political leaders attended a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser Wednesday evening.

Activists called upon Obama to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants and reject the Keystone XL Pipeline, among other issues.

Yesenia Najera, 11, a leader of the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, said her father was deported earlier this month.

"It is not fair," she said. "My dad is a good person and will always care for me and my brother and sister."

No other child should have to endure that kind of pain, she said.

Najera had one question for Obama.

"Will you stand for immigration families, and stop all deportation until immigration reform passes," she asked. "Not one more. Not one more."

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