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Rahm Emanuel

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Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
2:08pm
Thu Nov 1, 2012

Report: Mental Health Clinic Closings Mean 'Disappeared' Patients, Overburdened Therapists

A new report suggests that the city of Chicago has not fully kept track of some of its patients amid the closing of mental health clinics.

The study released this week by the AFSCME Council 31 public employees union and the Mental Health Movement coalition finds that on March 1 the city counted 3,282 patients using Chicago Department of Public Health, or CDPH, mental health services.

By July 24, following the April closing of six the city's 12 CDPH mental health clinics, the number of patients dropped to 2,798.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
6:27pm
Mon Oct 29, 2012

City Touts Building Demolitions In Crime Prevention, But Is There A Connection?

Today, the city of Chicago demolished its “200th dangerous building” since July 12, according to the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The mayor stated in a press release that demolitions are “preventing criminal activity in our neighborhoods.”

Is this true? “We’ve been knocking down houses since the 1930’s and it’s not clear if this has a significant effect on crime rates,” says Bradford Hunt, a sociology professor at Roosevelt University who studies Chicago housing issues.

Also in question: How does the city determine what properties see the wrecking ball?

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
4:29pm
Wed Oct 24, 2012

Chicago City Council: School Closing Hearing Will Be Held, Homeless Population Questioned

The Chicago City Council will hold hearings on what are rumored to be 80 to 120 neighborhood school closings, according to Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th), head of the council's education committee.

Thomas, who as education chairperson must convene such a panel, has previously been silent on a resolution signed by 32 aldermen calling for a school closing hearing. She told Progress Illinois that she would “absolutely” hold such a hearing.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
4:20pm
Tue Oct 16, 2012

City Staffing, Promised Savings Scrutinized In Emanuel Budget

The Chicago City Council started this morning four days of hearings that will examine the proposed 2013 budget that Mayor Rahm Emanuel released last week.

At a community meeting on the Northwest Side last night Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) said that, “The annual budget is the most important aspect of public policy. It tells us who we are as a city.”

Perhaps to the chagrin of Fioretti, Chicago is a city that mostly lets the mayor write the budget. Unlike the U.S. Congress or Illinois General Assembly, the 50-member city council essentially plays an advisory role.

The public also played a small role under previous mayors through community hearings, but Emanuel scrapped those this year. So a group of six aldermen representing the council’s progressive caucus held a public forum last night that attracted about 200 people.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
5:12pm
Mon Oct 15, 2012

Ravitch Says CTU Strike Was Galvanizing Moment For Teachers

Diane Ravitch, who was assistant secretary of education under George H.W. Bush and then became a national spokeswoman against the so-called education reform movement, says that Chicago has taken the lead on education reform – and the revolt against such policies.

Now a professor at New York University, Ravitch told reporters at the Chicago Teachers Union headquarters Monday that the strike gave “vicarious exhilaration” to teachers across the nation that were “beaten down” by evaluations based on standardized tests and charter schools.

Ravitch says Chicago is distinctive on education issues because of a “more militant” teachers' union, noting that in much of the south, west and now to an extent in northern states such as Wisconsin, “Teacher collective bargaining rights are eliminated.”

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
6:27pm
Wed Oct 10, 2012

Why Is Emanuel Touting 'No New Taxes'?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel presented his 2013 budget to the city council today, profusely emphasizing that the budget contains no new taxes.

“This is a budget that allows us to make critical investments by reforming government instead of raising taxes,” Emanuel said in a statement. “As I pledged, we will not raise sales taxes; we will not raise the fuel tax; we will not raise the amusement tax.”

So are no new taxes a good thing?

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