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Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
6:37pm
Fri Nov 20, 2015

Op-Ed: Chicago Activist Details Ongoing Disappointment With Nation's Inaction On Immigrant Rights

The following is by Rosi Carrasco, an undocumented mother of two and migrant rights organizer with Organized Communities Against Deportations in Chicago, IL.

As we reach November 20th, I remember that night one year ago when immigrant families packed into a room together to watch the President announce executive action on immigration. He had already signaled that he'd be responding to the unprecedented community pressure against the record deportations that had surpassed two million at that point. He had publicly committed to reform inhumane policy and finally it looked like the delays would end.

Among us were friends who've called the U.S. home for 20 years but who haven't had children, others with kids born here and others without. There were already people who had doubts about what would happen, who had already had to fight their own removal or young people who didn't meet the criteria that would've made them eligible for the deferred action of 2012.

My family and I weren't in that category, but that's where we ended up by the end of the night. We arrived in the U.S. in the Spring of 1994, a history like many families, we came when our kids still small. We've lived, worked, and built lives here. Distant from where we came from, part of the labor of building a new life is learning to carry those we love close in our hearts even if they're physically so far away.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:48pm
Wed Nov 4, 2015

Report: Most Waitlists For Housing Choice Vouchers Closed In Illinois

As demand for federal housing vouchers intensifies in Illinois, residents in need of affordable rental housing are encountering mostly closed waitlists for the Housing Choice Voucher program across the state, a new report shows.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development operates the Housing Choice Voucher program, which provides rental assistance to low-income families and is administered locally by public housing authorities (PHAs).

Of the 71 PHAs with active Housing Choice Voucher programs in Illinois, 51, or 72 percent, have closed voucher waitlists, according to the report from Housing Action Illinois and the Social IMPACT Research Center.

"This means that people in need of affordable rental housing in most every part of Illinois do not have the opportunity to even get in line to secure a federally-funded subsidy that would alleviate their poverty and put their household in a better position to thrive," the report authors wrote.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:03pm
Thu Oct 15, 2015

Enviros, Labor Leaders And Religious Figures Rally In Chicago For Climate Justice (VIDEO)

A few hundred Illinois environmental, labor and faith leaders hit Chicago's downtown streets Wednesday evening to rally for climate justice and demand that state leaders implement aggressive policies to combat climate change.

The Chicago demonstration was one of nearly 200 similar events held across the country as part of a national day of action spearheaded by the People's Climate Movement, which was behind last year's massive climate change march in New York City that drew some 400,000 people.

The organizers of Wednesday's national day of action hoped to send a clear message to political leaders scheduled to convene for a United Nations climate change conference in Paris this December.

"The goal of these marches was to help send a clear signal that the people of this country are concerned about [the] climate crisis and injustices that are going on," the Rev. Booker Vance with Faith in Place told Progress Illinois at the Chicago rally. "We want to make sure that when our leaders go to Paris that they have a clear sense that the people are behind them. The United States in all other areas wants to be a leader. This is an (area) clearly where we can show our leadership and understanding and compassion for issues of climate justice."

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