Posts in category "Government and Politics"

Palestinian activist charged with lying on citizenship application – 9 years after she became U.S. citizen

 Palestinian activist charged with lying on citizenship application – 9 years after she became U.S. citizen
When she was arrested on Oct. 22, Rasmieh Odeh had been an American citizen since 2004.  The charge? Lying on her naturalization application. Odeh, a Palestinian-born activist, associate director of the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network, and recipient of the 2013 Oustanding Community Leader Award from the Chicago Cultural Alliance, was accused of omitting the... Read more »

Ventra system parent company has deep ties to military, national security intelligence

Cubic Corporation, the parent company that runs Cubic Transportation Systems, responsible for the CTA’s much-loathed Ventra fare system, has deep business ties to the military. Cubic provides weapons training for the military; offers technology that transmits surveillance data from unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones; and tracks assets all over the world for both... Read more »

Could Chicago become a part of the ‘new era of liberal governance’?

Could Chicago become a part of the ‘new era of liberal governance’?
The recent round of big-city elections seem to indicate a shifting political landscape. And, it appears to be heading leftward. In Boston, Martin Walsh, a former labor leader in the city’s building trades, ran for mayor against a long-time city politician in what some called the first competitive race in three decades–and won. In Seattle,... Read more »
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Illinois pension debate overlooks role of public-sector jobs in sustaining the middle class

Illinois pension debate overlooks role of public-sector jobs in sustaining the middle class
Pensions have become a thorny and contentious issue in Illinois.  The state has the worst funded pension liability in the country, with only 24 percent of the money it promised retirees available, according to State Budget Solutions, a national research group. Gov. Pat Quinn, who gets much of the blame for the crisis, even tried... Read more »

‘Mayor 1%’: Emanuel’s tenure strikes a chord and ignites a movement

“Mayor 1%,” Kari Lydersen’s new book on Rahm Emanuel and his time as Chicago mayor is being released this month. The book places him squarely in the camp that his critics have pegged him since he came into office: a member of the 1%, the obscenely wealthy, elite class called out by the Occupy Wall... 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 »
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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 »

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 »

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 »
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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 »