Archive for October 2010

News Roundup: Chicago's jobless rate improves, slightly

The Chicago jobless rate has fallen to 9.4 percent from last year’s 10.4, matching the Illinois rate, but still slightly higher than the national rate of 9.2 percent. The country’s economy grew at a two-percent rate between July and September, an improvement over the 1.7 percent growth between April and June. However, economists surveyed by... Read more »

Illinois' budgetary train wreck and think-tank's taxing solution

Times have been hard around the country the past two years, but Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, thinks Illinois’ budgetary woes resemble a train wreck. In its new report, released today, Martire’s Chicago-based budget think-tank said the state’s low levels of taxation, a multi-year practice of using the... Read more »

Why you should care about the Illinois judicial election

If you’re like most voters, when it comes to the enormous list of judges on this year’s ballot, you might feel a little overwhelmed. A lot of people just skip it, or vote yes or no for the entire slate. With almost 70 people on the ballot, who can blame them? Except that that long... Read more »

Race, sex and money: The race to be mayor of Chicago

The latest race for mayor reminds me a lot of Agatha Christie’s thriller “And then there were none.” As the mystery unfolds, the number of viable guests at the dinner table dwindles. Tom Dart jumped out of the mayor’s race yesterday. And as of today, it looks like state Sen. James Meeks doesn’t have the... Read more »

Illinois refutes claims about lack of prenatal care for inmates

After our story yesterday about Illinois getting a “D” grade for prenatal care for female inmates from the Rebecca Project, we got a call from the Illinois Department of Corrections wanting to correct some information talked about in the Rebecca Project’s report. The report, they say, which said there was no evidence that our state... Read more »

Black companies getting fewer city contracts

African-American companies in Chicago have received only seven percent of city contracts in the past year, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times. Alderman Leslie Hairston, of the 5th ward, said increased scrutiny of bidders may be scaring away black contractors. More at Also in the news… Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart announced... Read more »

Is the Tea Party trying to keep black voters from the polls?

I recently saw a hilarious sketch at Second City. At a polling place on election day, an election official informed voters that voting had been privatized by the Tea Party, and because of that, they were required to take a literacy test in order to vote. White voters, even the crazy, shirtless, drunken ones, were... Read more »

News Roundup: Chicago Inspector General makes controversial cost-cutting suggestions

In a recent report, Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson suggested that the city cut several programs and subsidies to make up for the city’s billion dollar budget shortfall. Some service cuts could include free sewer service for senior citizens and subsidized water and sewer usage by certain nonprofit organizations. Other recommendations include cutting quarterly stipends... Read more »

Illinois gets a 'D' for prison prenatal care

When you think of women in prison, here’s a word that probably doesn’t come to your mind: mom. But it should. About two-thirds of the 115,000 women in prison in the U.S. are mothers. That’s a lot of missed good-night kisses and first days of school. And a new report shows that many states, including... Read more »

Teen pregnancy rates sky high, for some

When you first take a look at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s new report on teen births by state, everything looks pretty rosy. The teen birth rate is down again,and Illinois has fewer teenage girls having babies than the national average. But take a closer look, and you’ll see a disturbing picture. We’re... Read more »