Archive for July 2011

The weekly wrap-up

Jobs, jobs, jobs–where are they? That’s supposed to be at the top of every politico’s agenda these days. But less often discussed is the quality of jobs. The Chicago Reporter’s Megan Cottrell flagged a new report from the Center for Housing Policy that focused on five in-demand types of jobs: accountants, groundskeepers, janitors, office clerks... Read more »

City advances bill to get a handle on foreclosure blight

City advances bill to get a handle on foreclosure blight
Chicago aldermen have given an initial thumbs up to an ordinance intended to force banks and other financial institutions to better maintain their vacant properties, many of which were foreclosed. Members of the Joint Committee on Housing and Real Estate and Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards sent the legislation for consideration before the full council in a unanimous... Read more »

What kind of jobs are we adding to the economy?

What kind of jobs are we adding to the economy?
At last count, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said there were 3 million job openings in the United States. It might not feel like it to the 14 million Americans who are unemployed, but the economy is at least adding jobs, rather than losing them. But a couple of things that have come across... Read more »
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The 1995 heat wave reflected Chicago's "geography of vulnerability"

The 1995 heat wave reflected Chicago's "geography of vulnerability"
Chicago is in the midst if a week of soaring temperatures and high humidity. Heat indices could hit 115 today and Thursday, the National Weather Service warned in an advisory. Representatives from City of Chicago agencies have repeatedly asked residents to check in on their neighbors; the focus is on isolated seniors, those in poor... Read more »

Rental help for poor folks on chopping block

You can’t point to any particular affordable housing project in Chicago, in another city in Illinois, or in any other part of the country and say it was financed by the National Housing Trust Fund. The fund does indeed exist, but its coffers have never been filled. And now the fund–intended to help people with... Read more »

Churn, churn, churn--for those on food stamps, there's a season

Churn, churn, churn--for those on food stamps, there's a season
One in seven Americans is currently on food stamps. But from moment to moment, that one person might not be the same. That’s because food stamps–more properly known as SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–go through something called “churn.” Food stamp churn is the up-and-down nature of how many people are on food stamps at... Read more »
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The weekly wrap-up and other news

Minority contracts, the Peoples’ City Council Meeting, a bleak jobs report and racial stereotypes–it was a busy week on The Chicago Reporter’s Muckrakers blog. Here’s a round-up of the stories that we published over the past few days and a batch of links to pieces that caught our eye. We started the week with a... Read more »

What's going to happen to Medicaid?

What's going to happen to Medicaid?
About 2.3 million people in Illinois depend on Medicaid. A quarter of them are children. But with talks of deficit reduction and the looming apocalypse surrounding the debt ceiling, words are being thrown around in the media about possible cuts, reductions and revisions to our nation’s health insurance system for the low-income. I wanted to... Read more »

A notorious drug war ratio rolled back retroactively

A notorious drug war ratio rolled back retroactively
The “War on Drugs” turned 40 earlier this year, and we have noted the conflict’s anniversary here with a post about two studies critical of the effort and by reporting on skepticism from at least one prominent local politician about its efficacy. On the federal level, meanwhile, the drug war has been recently, if slightly,... Read more »
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Joliet warehouse workers say they face further intimidation

Swastikas and confederate flags don’t make for a very inviting work environment. But getting harassed and retaliated against if you complain about those items? That’s what workers at a Joliet warehouse are saying is happening to them. Back in April, we reported that a group of workers from the Kraft/Cadbury plant in Joliet were filing... Read more »