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Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
6:34pm
Thu Nov 15, 2012

Emanuel Calendar Shows Mayor Holding On To National Profile

Through a public information request, the Chicago Tribune obtained Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s daily calendar between January and August of 2012. The Tribune’s focus on the hundreds of pages of documents is almost identical to the Chicago Reader, which did a two-part review of Emanuel’s public schedule between January and November of 2011. In a nutshell, the publications noted that Emanuel meets a lot with business leaders.

Emanuel’s ties with business are important given his policy record of ramming the Infrastructure Trust through city council in April, a nebulous effort to use private money for public projects, and expanding his own role as chairman of World Business Chicago, which coordinated the NATO summit in May.

But perusing through the calendar, available on the Tribune Web site, reveals other elements of Emanuel’s tenure including his national profile and approach to the Chicago Teachers Union labor dispute.

PI Original
by Matthew Blake
11:57am
Wed Nov 14, 2012

Democratic Super Majority May Change Little In Springfield

The election was a triumph for Illinois Democrats and a disaster for Prairie State Republicans, with Democrats gaining super majorities in both the Illinois House and Senate. But what progressive policy will emerge from Springfield’s new make up is hard to discern.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
7:28pm
Fri Nov 9, 2012

Springfield May Consider A Chicago Elected School Board

Eighty-seven percent of the 65,763 Chicago voters who weighed in on the matter said ‘yes’ to a non-binding referendum on whether the city should have an elected, instead of mayor-appointed, school board.

An effort by the city council’s progressive caucus this summer, with the support of the Chicago Teachers Union, to get the referendum on ballots across the city failed. So only voters in select polling precincts were asked to consider the measure.

“Can you imagine the whole city of Chicago saying the same thing and the momentum that would have rolled from that,” asked Stacey Davis Gates, legislative policy director for CTU.

But even a citywide referendum would have been purely symbolic because, like so much else that governs the Chicago Public Schools, the selection of school board members is a matter of state, not city, law.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
11:10pm
Thu Nov 8, 2012

Freeport Sensata Employees Rally For Job Creation, Full Severance

Freeport workers at the Bain Capital-owned Sensata Technologies rallied today as part of a national movement calling on politicians to focus on job creation, not cuts to social services and education. The workers say the outcome of the election, which saw Democrat Cheri Bustos beat incumbent, Tea Party-backed Republican Bobby Schilling in the 17th congressional district where the Sensata factory lies, shows that voters are ready to see their elected officials work for them, not against them.

For months, the Sensata workers called on U.S. Rep. Schilling and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to address the issue of the 170 U.S. jobs being outsourced to China. But their calls fell on deaf ears, with neither Schilling nor Romney ever taking the time to meet with the workers or address the issue. 

“Politicians who turned their back on workers, like Bobby Schilling and Mitt Romney, were rejected by voters,” said Tom Gaulrapp, who has worked at the plant for 33 years. “Our elected leaders need to stand up for good jobs, not job-killing budget cuts.”

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