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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Jun 20, 2013

Parents, Students Occupy Lafayette Elementary Classroom On School's Last Day (VIDEO)

Just after final classes let out at Jean D. Lafayette Elementary Wednesday, three parents and their children occupied a classroom for hours in opposition of the Chicago Public Schools' (CPS) plan to close the school for good this month.

The up to nine parents and children, some of whom were students at the school, occupied the classroom at about 2:30 p.m. Several police officers were on scene, but no arrests were made. 

More than 50 protestors gathered outside Lafayette to show their solidarity. Education activists linked arms and formed a human chain in front of the school’s entrance.

“We’re not going to stop fighting,” said Windy Pearson, a member of Action Now, outside Lafayette. “We have people who are adamant about what is happening to their schools and to their kids and to our community, and this is just one of the many protests that will go on in regards to these schools.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Jun 18, 2013

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Would Mean Big Gains For Social Security & Medicare, Analysts Say

Medicare and Social Security would see a significant boost in payroll tax contributions if America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants were provided legal status and an earned pathway to citizenship, say health and economic policy experts.

Specifically, if 85 percent of the country’s eligible undocumented immigrants gained legal status and earned citizenship, they would contribute a net gain of $606.4 billion to the Social Security system over a 36-year period, a new report from the Center For American Progress Shows.  

It is estimated that undocumented workers would pay $1.2 trillion in Social Security taxes from their earnings, yet only $580.9 billion in benefits would be doled out to them over those 36 years, according to the report.

The potential net gain is enough to fund the retirement of 2.4 million Americans, said Patrick Oakford, an economic policy research assistant at the Center for American Progress and co-author of the report.

“That’s your parents, my parents, grandparents, someone’s neighbor,” Oakford said. “Those retirement benefits will be supported by the undocumented population if we allow them to travel the earned pathway to citizenship.” 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Jun 17, 2013

West Side ‘Peace Corner’ Provides A Safe Haven For Youth (VIDEO)

The Peace Corner Youth Center on Chicago's West Side offers youth a safe and recreational space after school and during the summer. Just before a violent weekend of shootings across the city left eight people dead and more than 40 wounded, Progress Illinois attended the non-profit's open house to learn more about its violence-prevention programs.