Archive for December 2010

How work doesn't pay, and why it could destroy America

Does work pay? It’s a pretty fundamental assumption. If you work, you won’t be poor. You won’t have to depend on welfare. You’ll be okay. But for more and more working families, that isn’t true. A new report from the Working Poor Families Project says that since the recession has hit America, one in three... Read more »

Majority of Chicago's disabled population estranged from the labor market

This week, we’ve chronicled the plight of disabled people working or trying to work in Chicago. It’s certainly not easy. On Tuesday, we showed how people with a disability make substantially less than people who work around them, especially in the most well-to-do neighborhoods. On Wednesday, we showed that only a small percentage of the... Read more »

In some Chicago neighborhoods, only a tiny fraction of disabled people work full time

Does being disabled mean you can’t hold down a full-time job? While it shouldn’t, in many Chicago neighborhoods, it seems so. When The Chicago Reporter took a look at the number of people working full time in Chicago from 2009 census data, between the ages of 16 and 64, we found a lot of neighborhoods... Read more »

Got a disability? You'll see the difference in your paycheck

A lot of people might assume that if you have a disability, you might not make as much money as someone without a disability. But how much less? How hard is it for people with disabilities in Illinois to get by compared to their neighbors? Well, it depends on where you work. That’s what The... Read more »

Company accused of stealing millions from NYC and hurricane victims gets money from Chicago

The City of Chicago has given over $7 million to Spherion, a company whose employees were targeted by federal prosecutors last week for its role in a money laundering scheme.’s Dan O’Neil was the first to notice Chicago’s connection to Spherion. We dug a little deeper into some Chicago records and found that the... Read more »

Leon Finney resigns from Chicago Plan Commission

He might just be one of Chicago’s most politically connected residents and has been accused of being one of the city’s biggest slumlords: Leon Finney Jr. But today he’s given up one of his most powerful positions–member of the Chicago Plan Commission, which makes important city decisions regarding new development, Tax Increment Financing Districts and... Read more »

Why does Chicago's entrenched segregation matter?

Census made the headlines yesterday. The summary? Segregation: still bad, but not as bad as it was. Nationwide, black segregation is at the lowest level it’s been in 100 years. But here in Chicago, we have less to celebrate. In 2000, 83 percent of African Americans would have had to move to be evenly distributed... Read more »

Are Chicago cops on steroids?

An investigation by the New Jersey’s The Star Ledger recently revealed rampant steroid use among police officers there, prescribed by a unethical physician looking to make a quick buck. When that doctor died because of side effects from his own steroid use, people started to take notice. But it’s not just this doctor or just... Read more »

Unless politicians act quickly, more than 1,000 families may be left homeless

For 1,037 Chicago families, the future all depends on a relatively small, obscure amendment passing through the U.S Senate. Without it, they may just end up without a place to live, uprooted from the communities where they’ve lived for years, because of a short-sighted law passed 40 years ago. They thought that amendment was going... Read more »

Many poor people have a job--they just don't get paid

Poor people are poor because they don’t want to work, right? That’s what a lot of Americans believe. But imagine working 40 hours a week, even putting in overtime, and having nothing to show for it. That’s a reality for many of Chicago’s workers who experience wage theft–employers circumventing the law by paying under the... Read more »