Archive for October 2013

Some see similarities today in policies that led to 1963 boycott of CPS

Some see similarities today in policies that led to 1963 boycott of CPS
Fifty years after Chicago Public Schools students took to the streets to protest segregated and overcrowded schools, some question how much has changed in a city still racked by racial and economic inequality. “These problems are still haunting us,” said Mia Henry, owner-operator of Freedom Lifted, a social movement history tour company. “Not even haunting... Read more »

Emanuel’s 2014 Chicago budget filled with more fees, fines and taxes

Emanuel’s 2014 Chicago budget filled with more fees, fines and taxes
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Wednesday morning speech announcing his proposed 2014 budget lauded the tough decisions and important investments he is putting forward to balance the city’s $339 million budget deficit. Emanuel said that one of his goals would be to remove the divide, both symbolic and real, between downtown Chicago and the neighborhoods. “I believe... Read more »

Have Illinois lawmakers lost their appetite for mandatory minimums?

Have Illinois lawmakers lost their appetite for mandatory minimums?
On Tuesday, a much anticipated debate over Illinois Rep. Michael Zalewski’s (D-23rd) bill to require hard time for illegal gun possession was abruptly cancelled, signaling that his colleagues in the House aren’t lining up behind it. At least, not in the numbers he needs if it’s going to pass. Regular readers may recall the proposal,... Read more »
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Life in an SRO: When temporary housing becomes a home

Single Room Occupancy hotels once were envisioned as transitory residences – where people needing a leg up for a short time could pay a low weekly rate for rent before moving on to something better. But in reality, they are anything but temporary. The Rosemoor Hotel in the West Loop neighborhood has residents who have... Read more »

Missed opportunities for poor families

Missed opportunities for poor families
This post was reported and written by James Reddick, a former Chicago Reporter intern. Shinette Johnson tacks off a list of amenities in an apartment she recently saw for rent in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. “It was gorgeous,” she says. “Fireplace, master bedroom, my dream bathroom. The kitchen was a little tight, but it was... Read more »

Chicago aldermen seek $20 million reparations fund for police torture victims

Chicago aldermen seek $20 million reparations fund for police torture victims
A little more than a month after Mayor Rahm Emanuel apologized for torture committed by former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge and detectives under his command, Aldermen Proco Joe Moreno (1st) and Howard B. Brookins, Jr. (21st) filed an ordinance in Chicago’s City Council Wednesday that would allocate $20 million toward redress to torture victims... Read more »
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Community activists, unions raise populist message at ‘Take Back Chicago’ rally

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More than a thousand people gathered Tuesday evening for the “Take Back Chicago” rally and town hall meeting at the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum. Members of various community organizations, activists and unions called attention to such issues as the minimum wage, affordable housing, a fair tax system, school closures and healthcare. Individuals asked... Read more »

With ‘exclusive’ mayoral control, a new CHA chief may make little difference

With ‘exclusive’ mayoral control, a new CHA chief may make little difference
Natalie Saffold lived in LeClaire Courts for 23 years before the public housing complex was closed down in 2009. She raised three children there. Now 57, Saffold lives in a public housing apartment in Bridgeport. But she still hasn’t given up hope that she’ll one day move back to the area as part of the... Read more »

SRO tenants union wins reprieve for low-income residents

SRO tenants union wins reprieve for low-income residents
The Rosemoor Tenants Union was born only months ago in a windowless room near Teamster City. But the association, created to represent long-time tenants of the Rosemoor Hotel, a Single Room Occupancy building in the West Loop, already has a victory under its belt. On Oct. 3, a Cook County judge found in favor of... Read more »
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Gripes and guffaws: CTA’s flawed Ventra system hits low-income riders hardest

Gripes and guffaws: CTA’s flawed Ventra system hits low-income riders hardest
The Chicago Transit Authority’s rollout of the new Ventra fare card had a rocky time last week, after a series of technical and customer service problems forced the CTA to backtrack on its plan to stop issuing old passes. The endless thread of comments—mostly complaints–on the Chicago Transit Authority’s Facebook page, as well as responses... Read more »