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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:01pm
Mon Sep 19, 2016

Refugee Resettlement Surges In Chicago, Local Experts Say

The number of people seeking sanctuary in the Chicago area is growing significantly, according to a local agency that helps refugees resettle in the city.

"Right now, we are experiencing a really crazy surge in arrivals," Lea Tienou told an audience of college students as well as immigrant and refugee service providers and advocates.

Tienou is associate director of refugee family adjustment and employment services at the Heartland Alliance. She spoke Monday afternoon at DePaul University's Loop campus as part of a panel discussion about the global refugee crisis. 

The Heartland Alliance typically sees about 20 refugees per month, Tienou explained. Just in the last month, however, 100 refugees came to the agency, and 90 more are expected to seek assistance from the Heartland Alliance in September.

"It's been a really busy time, and this is throughout the country that we're seeing a really large influx of arrivals," she said. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:53pm
Tue Sep 13, 2016

Census Bureau: Poverty, Household Income & Health Insurance Coverage Improved Last Year

Progress Illinois breaks down new Census Bureau figures, which showed "superb" income growth and significant drops in the poverty and uninsured rates.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:56pm
Mon Sep 12, 2016

Report: Paid Sick Time Beneficial To Workers And Businesses

As paid sick leave laws continue to gain traction across the United States, a recent report finds such policies to be a win-win for workers and their employers.

For its report, the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) examined over a dozen scholarly and policy research articles covering the health, economic and social benefits of paid sick time.

"Seeing the research brought together, from a range of disciplines, makes a striking case for universal access to paid sick days as a low-cost strategy for improving health and economic well-being," IWPR Vice President and Executive Director Barbara Gault said in a statement.

The think tank's analysis came shortly Chicago passed legislation mandating earned paid sick time and as commissioners in Cook County are set to vote on similar policy on October 5. Chicago was the 34th jurisdiction in the United States to guarantee paid sick days.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:31pm
Fri Sep 9, 2016

Chicago Activists To Rally For Education Policy Changes At First Presidential Debate

Education activists from Chicago and other U.S. cities will rally outside the first 2016 presidential debate later this month in Hempstead, New York in hopes that the candidates will embrace their seven-point public education policy agenda.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:14am
Fri Sep 9, 2016

Jill Stein Rallies In Chicago, Rejects Criticism Of Green Party's Political Platform

From police violence to the media's coverage of her campaign, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein addressed a wide range of topics during a rally in Chicago Thursday evening. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:58am
Thu Sep 8, 2016

Experts: Federal Reserve Is 'Past Due' For New Monetary Policy Framework

An overhaul of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy framework may be needed in order to achieve a "full employment future."

Economic experts make that argument in a new paper for the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

The CBPP report explored alternatives to the Fed's current practices. The goal was to examine the proposals' potential effectiveness in promoting full employment, particularly "the strong and sustained labor market conditions that boost living standards and career trajectories across the income distribution and contribute to broad prosperity," the paper reads.

Carola Binder, assistant professor of economics at Haverford College in Pennsylvania and Alex Rodrigue, a Haverford College math and economics major, co-authored the CBPP report. They wrote about their research in an op-ed for the Huffington Post.

"The Fed's monetary policy is not entirely to blame for the problems associated with labor market slack- weak demand, chronically low or negative inflation, slow growth, stagnating wages, and rising inequality - but it could be part of the solution," the op-ed reads. "That will require more than just fine-tuning, however; it will require a new framework for monetary policy. We aspire for a future characterized by full employment: consistently strong labor market conditions that enable workers across the income distribution to bargain for higher wages."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:36am
Wed Sep 7, 2016

Environmental Group Demands Action On Lead Emissions From Small Airplanes

A leading environmental group wants swift federal action on leaded aviation fuel used by small airplanes and some helicopters.

Friends of the Earth released a new report on the issue, noting that leaded aviation fuel, or "avgas," accounts for 50 percent of all airborne lead emissions.

Lead is a highly toxic metal known to adversely affect neurological development.

"While lead has been banned or limited in consumer products, building materials and automotive gasoline, no action to date has been taken to address the largest source of lead emissions into the air -- leaded aviation fuel," reads the Friends of the Earth's report, prepared by the Center for Environmental Health.

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