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Rahm Emanuel


Quick Hit
by Brandon Campbell
Wed Jun 27, 2012

Chicagoans Decry Use Of TIF Dollars For West Loop Office Park (VIDEO)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s recent decision to chip in about $30 million for a subway tunnel and a 1.5-acre public park to be built alongside a new West Loop office building has got some Chicago residents upset.

On Tuesday morning about 70 community activists marched to the Mayor’s Office from the proposed site of the 45-story, $300 million River Point development near Lake and Canal Streets. The group said they want the city’s money used for parks in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, not in Chicago’s thriving downtown area.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Wed Jun 27, 2012

Community Members Discuss Future Of Fisk Coal Plant Site With Midwest Generation

Audience members offered a range of ideas at a city hearing last night about what to do with the site currently occupied by the 108 year-old Fisk coal-fired power plant in the Pilsen neighborhood, which closes this September. Some of the ideas included a park, funeral home, public market, trade school, and even a high school sports complex.

But all these visions will be stymied if the Midwest Generation company cannot find a buyer willing to not just build something new but also clean up, or remediate, the site.

“There is a huge marketing job ahead of us,” acknowledged Jean Pogge, CEO of the Delta Institute, the Chicago non-profit in charge of a task force Mayor Rahm Emanuel created to determine the site’s future.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Tue Jun 26, 2012

Stricter Pot Ticketing Ordinance Set To Clear Chicago City Council

An ordinance pushed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to make possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana punishable by ticketed fines will likely sail through city council tomorrow amid some concerns that the $250 to $500 tickets are too steep a levy against the low-income, black residents who are often targets of marijuana arrests.

Ald. Danny Solis (25th), the ordinance's sponsor, is not currently considering any amendments including changing the fine, according to Solis spokesman Stephen Stults.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Mon Jun 25, 2012

Clean Up Plan For Chicago Coal Sites Unclear

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office will hold two community hearings this week regarding the Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plant sites on Chicago’s South Side. Midwest Generation is scheduled to close the plants in September. Community excitement that the aging plants are shutting down has partly given way to fears that the city and Midwest Generation will never clean up or “remediate” the sites.

“Nobody wants to deal with the remediation process,” claims Rafeal Hurtado, an organizer at the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), a group that advocated shutting down the Crawford plant.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Thu Jun 21, 2012

Black Caucus Aldermen Voice Concerns As Pot Ticketing Plan Advances

The Chicago City Council committee on public safety voted 13-1 today for an ordinance pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to change possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil violation punishable by fine.

The committee hearing raised questions about how fines would be implemented, particularly if they might disproportionately hurt black residents in low-income neighborhoods who make up about 75 percent of the of Chicago Police Department's pot arrests.

“This will raise dollars on the backs of poor people,” said Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) at the hearing. Dowell and other black caucus aldermen, such as Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), raised these concerns, but did not vote against the legislation.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Mon Jun 18, 2012

Mental Health Movement Protesters Use 'Necessity Defense' At Cook County Trial

Foes of Chicago closing six of its 12 mental health clinics in April will air their grievances today in a new venue – the Cook County Criminal Court.

Five protesters charged with trespassing at the since closed Woodlawn mental health clinic will use the “necessity defense” according to their attorney James Fennerty, who spoke at a press conference this morning outside the courthouse. Defendants invoke the necessity defense when they claim to have committed a crime so as to benefit the public good.

“These people don’t deny that they trespassed,” Fennerty said. “But they were doing it to prevent a greater evil — meaning the closing down of the clinics and people not getting their mental health care, and not getting their drugs or seeing their therapist.”

PI Original
by Matthew Blake
Mon Jun 11, 2012

What's Next After CTU Strike Authorization Vote

The Chicago Teachers Union announced today that – by a wide margin – its members are prepared to strike if the union and Chicago Public Schools management cannot agree on a contract before the 2012-13 school year begins. The vote does not mean a strike is imminent, even with CPS and CTU escalating their public rhetoric, and the parties being significantly apart on teacher raises and other issues.