Archive for January 2012

Minimum wage in Illinois would help economic recovery, report says

Organizers and economists in Chicago are arguing for a grassroots stimulus plan that would increase consumer spending and close the wage gap–by raising wages. The Economic Policy Institute argues in a new report that gradually increasing the minimum wage in the next four years from the current $8.25 an hour to $10.65 by 2015 would... Read more »

No heat, no hot water for residents of Lakeview high-rise

No heat, no hot water for residents of Lakeview high-rise
No heat, no hot water and carbon monoxide build-ups are just the latest problems affecting hundreds of residents in a building owned by Lakeview Associates. The high-rise in the tony neighborhood got its five minutes of fame last week when an NBC article reported that residents were expected to go without amenities for up to... Read more »

Race and poverty round-up: income inequality in the State of the Union, paid protest and food stamps

What’s moving in the world of race and poverty, on Chicago Muckrakers weekly. In President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union before the November elections, he called rising income inequality “the defining issue of our time.” Two people say they were paid to protest in support of the contentious school closings on the city’s... Read more »
Advertisement:

What is the state of Latino political clout in Chicago?

What is the state of Latino political clout in Chicago?
The Latino community may have some new political voices in Chicago City Council since the ward remapping, but controversy continues to bubble as to whether the rapidly growing group was short shrifted in last week’s redistricting. On Wednesday, the Latino Policy Forum released an analysis of the ward boundaries and argued that “the new maps–and... Read more »

Food calculator shows food spending takes bigger bites out of poor people's income than the rich's

If you were to add up the money you spend on cereal, juice, bread, vegetables, coffee and the occasional late-night fast-food binge, how much would it cost? And how would you compare to other people in your income bracket or age group? Mother Jones’  food calculator allows you to tally what you spend and compare... Read more »

Asian Americans meet resistance from city in attempt to map community's future

Asian Americans meet resistance from city in attempt to map community's future
Before Chicago’s new ward map was speedily approved on Thursday, much of the ostensible conversation about changing boundaries centered on race and population change: the two factors that, by law, prompt redistricting. But activists from the city’s Asian-American community, the fastest growing racial group in Chicago, were unable to convince 41 aldermen–the number of votes... Read more »
Advertisement:

Vacant homes to rentals has potential but also potential problems

Vacant homes to rentals has potential but also potential problems
Vacant homes are trouble. There’s no doubt about it. From attracting squatters, falling into disrepair or lowering home values, there’s not a neighborhood in this city that doesn’t have empty homes creating problems. More are piling onto the market every day, with little hope of a quick recovery. So the Federal Reserve has decided it’s... Read more »

Micro-Market Recovery Program hopes to redevelop foreclosed homes, neighborhood by neighborhood

Micro-Market Recovery Program hopes to redevelop foreclosed homes, neighborhood by neighborhood
Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel couldn’t agree more: This year, he began the second section of his neighborhood-based redevelopment plan that focuses recovery on some of the hardest-hit communities. Humboldt Park, Chatham, Chicago Lawn, West Woodlawn, Auburn-Gresham, West Pullman, Belmont-Cragin, Englewood and Grand Boulevard will all be part of the Micro-Market... Read more »

Ward remapping draws controversy in communities of color: What do you think?

The 15th and 16th wards are now the same ward, and the 2nd Ward went from being south and west of the Loop to being south and west of Lincoln Park. Sounds like a children’s game, but it’s actually the result of Chicago’s latest redrawing of its ward map. The map is redrawn every 10... Read more »
Advertisement:

Tax season 2012: fewer opportunities to rip off the poor

Tax season 2012: fewer opportunities to rip off the poor
Would you take out a loan with an interest rate of 50 percent? How about 500 percent? It sounds ridiculous, but it’s a common practice during tax filing time. Tax preparers around the country have offered refund anticipation loans, meaning they’ll advance you the money that you’re going to collect from Uncle Sam. But these... Read more »