Chicago Public Schools principals will have to spend less as the cash-strapped district grapples with its pressing financial issues, including an upcoming $688 million pension payment, district officials said Wednesday.
A former Chicago transit worker who claims he was "unjustly" terminated last month saw support Wednesday morning from some Chicago Teachers Union members and community groups, who want the fired bus driver rehired.
The group, including representatives from the Black Youth Project 100, spoke out before the Chicago Transit Board meeting.
Erek Slater, who previously worked as a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus driver and claims to be a "union steward" and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 241 executive board member, said he was "unjustly" fired last month.
According to the group, Slater was fired after initiating, as a union steward, "an inquiry into a possible violation of the contract" by the CTA "on the request of his coworker."
As the March 15 primary election nears, the controversy surrounding the 2014 police shooting death of Laquan McDonald refuses to let up. On Tuesday, just a week before the primary election, lawsuits were filed against the Chicago Police Department, the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), and the office of Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, who is facing a tough re-election bid, for more information on the case.
Specifically, the suit is calling on the police department, IPRA and Alvarez to release their respective records on the McDonald investigation. The lawsuit was filed by independent journalist Brandon Smith, who -- with the help of the Invisible Institute's Jamie Kalven -- pressed for what was the eventual public release of the police dash-cam video of the McDonald shooting.
Smith says the timing of the lawsuit serves a dual purpose in light of the upcoming election.
A few dozen newly naturalized American citizens living in Chicago voted Tuesday afternoon for the first time in a U.S. election, casting ballots during the early voting period for the March 15 Illinois primary.
Representatives from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) assisted the new Americans of Polish, Irish and Mexican descent in the naturalization and voter registration process.
ICIRR representatives led the group on a march in downtown Chicago that started at the Dirksen Federal Building, where the long-term immigrants were naturalized as new American citizens. Afterward, the group headed to the Chicago Board of Elections. There, the new Americans registered to vote and voted early.
"Fortunately, we have early voting and grace period registration to facilitate people who are just getting naturalized now a few days before the primary to be able to still have the opportunity to vote," said ICIRR's Fred Tsao. "It used to be that if you missed the voter registration deadline four weeks before the election, you were out of luck."
Women McDonald's workers and their allies spoke out against alleged workplace abuses during a Chicago protest held Tuesday morning to coincide with International Women's Day. Progress Illinois was there for the protest.