Archive for April 2011

Swastikas, Confederate flags and sexual harassment? That's what Joliet warehouse workers say they're facing at work

“There are Nazi signs on the walls,” said Angela McDonald, who works at the Kraft/Cadbury warehouse in Joliet. “When you have to work late or on a Saturday you never know what could happen.” McDonald and her co-workers are filing charges today with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging discrimination and a hostile work... Read more »

Poverty-bashers like to forget: Drug testing for public benefits is unconstitutional

The headlines seem to surface every few months or so: So-and-so politician wants to drug test the (choose one) unemployed/welfare recipients/food stamp families/Medicaid enrollees/public housing residents. They make a big fuss for one news cycle, for the benefit of people not using these programs–so they can bang their fist on the dinner table and say,... Read more »

Chicago activists tell Senator Kirk: Don't balance the budget on the back of the poor!

The government shutdown was averted. But we still don’t know what exactly has been cut from the federal budget, the $38 billion that finally led to a compromise. Activists from 10 Chicago organizations aren’t waiting to find out. They’re standing up to let U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk know they don’t want cuts to human services.... Read more »

Can we pay medicaid users to lose weight, quit smoking?

Carrots are much more popular than sticks right now. Wiggle a carrot in front of a hungry rabbits face, conventional wisdom says, and he’ll come running. Perhaps it’s a better way to get a rabbit where you want him than to wallop him with a stick. Do humans work the same way? A new federal... Read more »

Weather heats up; so does Chicago violence

I was reminded of an ugly trend this morning when I looked at the news: as the weather gets warmer in Chicago, the shootings multiply. It’s not as if there’s no violence in the winter, but the warm weather that brings people out of their homes seems to also create more opportunities for people to... Read more »

One in 10 American babies are born to a teen mother

The good news: the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the teen birthrate is way down. The bad news: The country still has the second-highest teen birthrate among developed nations. Only Bulgaria has more teens having babies. Half of young women who have babies in their teens don’t get a high school diploma... Read more »

Why moving too much matters for children

Imagine moving six times in six years. It seems like you’d never really get unpacked before you had to pack up again. Moving vans, crumpled newspaper, address change forms. Finding a new bank, grocery store or a new school for your children. Six years of always being the “new kid” in class. A new report... Read more »

Rags, riches, repeat.

It’s the American dream: start off poor and move up the ladder of success. But no one ever mentions the part where you move up and down the ladder, a few rungs forward and a few back again. But a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau looks at poverty in a new way. Using... Read more »

Are you poor? Double check before you answer.

It’s a cruel April fool’s joke. The unemployment statistics came out on Friday, saying yet again that unemployment is down in Chicago. Nine percent – that’s where we are right now. According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, 39,400 jobs were added to the economy. But the New York Times spoiled the joke before... Read more »