Archive for July 2011

Weekly wrap-up

Small steps forward. A couple of efforts we reported on this week at The Chicago Reporter’s Muckraker’s blog seem to belong in this camp. The first was legislative: A bill sponsored by 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell and based in part on a story put together by the Reporter’s Angela Caputo sailed through the Chicago... Read more »

If you were president, how would you cut the deficit? Play now.

On today’s Barbershop Show live at noon on 89.5 FM and vocalo.org, Chicago Reporter Editor Kimbriell Kelly and Publisher Alden Loury are going to play a little game. And we’d like you to play, too! We’ll be talking about the government debt ceiling. As such, Kimbriell and Alden will be picking what federal programs they’d pay for with a... Read more »

Council clarifies whose job it is to make pretty all those ugly foreclosures

Council clarifies whose job it is to make pretty all those ugly foreclosures
The Chicago City Council passed legislation today meant to force banks to maintain vacant, foreclosed properties that have proliferated across Chicago in the wake of the housing bust and foreclosure crisis. The bill passed out of council 49 to zero, a spokeswoman from the city clerk’s office said (one alderman was absent from the meeting).... Read more »
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Why the widening wealth gap is no big surprise to Chicago

Why the widening wealth gap is no big surprise to Chicago
Big and terrible news yesterday: the wealth gap between white people and minorities is widening. It was already wide – enormous, in fact. But it’s gotten worse. Take a look at the graph at the top. Every group has taken a hit since 2005 because of the recession. But the net worth of Hispanic and... Read more »

Loan mods: Take two. New program could keep more Chicagoans in their homes

Loan mods: Take two. New program could keep more Chicagoans in their homes
The new Mortgage Resolution Fund in Illinois will use what its backers call a “neighborhood stabilization approach” to try and staunch home foreclosures in communities in the Chicago region hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. Such an approach, according to documents from Mercy Housing, the Denver-based affordable housing nonprofit that is designing and operating the... Read more »

At jobs hearing, grim statistics, frustration, cries for help

At jobs hearing, grim statistics, frustration, cries for help
A special legislative hearing held today in Chicago started with a grim set of numbers. Like this one: The overall unemployment rate in Illinois stood at 10.3 percent last year, an analyst from the Illinois Department of Employment Security told members of the Illinois House of Representatives’ Small Business Empowerment and Workforce Development Committee. Unemployment... Read more »
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Chopping the deficit by eliminating "public housing" for the rich

Chopping the deficit by eliminating "public housing" for the rich
When it comes to talking about public housing, there’s never a shortage of comments that go something like this: “I don’t want my tax dollars paying for that god-forsaken place where people are just lying around all day, watching TV and smoking dope.” Well, it turns out, you should be shaking your head and thinking... Read more »

How do you create immigrant-friendly politicians?

 “Have you ever broken a promise?” If the answer is “Yes” then this job is not for you, said a participant of the Ready to Lead conference. On a recent Saturday morning, conference attendees sat around tables brainstorming the ideal qualities of a good politician. The conference is the first of its kind in the... Read more »

Amid TIF controversies, taskforce meets Thursday

Amid TIF controversies, taskforce meets Thursday
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s rhetoric about the city’s Tax Increment Financing District, or TIF, program suggests some sort of revamp of how Chicago uses TIF dollars is in the making. In May, the Chicago Sun-Times quoted the mayor as promising to take “politics out of” TIFs, which, Emanuel said, should return to its roots. “It is... Read more »
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Why every city resident must see Chicago film, "The Interrupters"

Why every city resident must see Chicago film, "The Interrupters"
Many of us spent our weekend relaxing–playing with our kids, walking our dogs or maybe running a few errands. Maybe you lit up the grill and made some hamburgers or shish kabobs. While we spent our days off kicking back, violence was exploding in our city. Seven people were killed and 22 wounded across the... Read more »