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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »
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Stop, before they privatize: Groups want to save Chicago from another parking meter deal

Stop, before they privatize: Groups want to save Chicago from another parking meter deal
Everywhere you turn these days, another plan to privatize a city service seems to be in the works. Ventra cards, a new payment system for the CTA and administered by a San Diego-based company, have made headlines all this week. Before that was the plan to privatize Midway Airport, though the deal fell through when... Read more »

DePaul gets an arena, but what does the community gain?

DePaul gets an arena, but what does the community gain?
Big urban projects like sports arenas often come with a time-worn narrative: They will create tourism and attract new jobs and a tidy return on investment. City support for the controversial DePaul  University basketball arena is no different.  A City of Chicago news release stated that the arena, which will be located near McCormick Place... Read more »

Report: Downtown prospers while Chicago’s black, Latino communities slide

Report: Downtown prospers while Chicago’s black, Latino communities slide
Downtown job creation policies have significantly benefited white communities to the exclusion of the city’s black and Latino communities, according to a report released Tuesday by the Grassroots Collaborative, a coalition of Illinois community and labor organizations. The report, “Downtown Prosperity, Neighborhood Neglect: Chicago’s Black and Latino Workers Left Behind,” found that while Chicago taxpayers... Read more »
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Women, Infants and Children program threatened by government shutdown

Women, Infants and Children program threatened by government shutdown
It’s a chilly morning as Maricela Villegas hurries through the doors of the Woman, Infants and Children Lower West Side center at 1643 W. Cermak Road. She has a 1-year-old son and is pregnant with another child. Inside the center, a mini grocery store and pharmacy, where it’s toasty warm, Villegas picks up a prescription... Read more »