Tag: budget crisis

Hunger strike at Pontiac prison enters third week

Hunger strike at Pontiac prison enters third week
Cleaning supplies, sanitary toenail clippers, radios, fresh air and heat. These were among the initial demands of a group of prisoners on hunger strike at Pontiac Correctional Center. At its peak, 47 inmates were on hunger strike when the protest began Feb. 4, according to the Uptown People’s Law Center. Two days later, 25 prisoners... 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 »

News Roundup: Illinois continues to struggle to educate students who are poor, minority

Out of the 491 Illinois schools that are at least 90 percent poor and 90 percent minority, only one has also managed to get 90 percent of its students to meet state testing standards.   More at chicagoreporter.com Also in the news.. Six of 15 convicted corrupt building and zoning inspectors allegedly used connections to... Read more »

News Roundup: Dependence on government grew 14 percent last year

Americans, as a whole, became 13.6 percent more dependent on our government in 2009,  according to a new study by the Heritage Foundation. Housing assistance in particular saw the largest increase since the foundation created the Index of Dependence on Government in the 1960s. Welfare and low-income healthcare spending also spiked. More at chicagoreporter.com Also... Read more »

News Roundup: Real friends scarce for kids in violent neighborhoods

Children in violent Chicago neighborhoods are increasingly wary of friendships, according to a University of Chicago study. The study shows that these children are intensely testing the loyalties of their potential friends and doing background checks before letting anyone get close. The pre-teen years are typically when youth learn how make friends, and growing up... Read more »

News roundup: Chicago banks refinance their bailout for cheaper Fed program

The first four of Chicago’s small banks to pay back the federal government for the Troubled Asset Relief Program funds they received turned around and refinanced with a cheaper  federal bailout program, despite the fact that all but one were profitable during the first half of the year. The banks, including Hanover Park’s First Eagle... Read more »

The media mulls over Mayor Daley's legacy, and his replacement

The media is tracking the hits and misses of Mayor Daley as he announces his retirement. Big misses include corruption, and privatization. The tearing down of public housing is considered both a hit and a miss. Now politicians and advocates debate what kind of leader should replace Daley- African American? Pro-Business? Less autocratic? The TIF... Read more »

Put Illinois To Work reports creating 26,000 jobs this year. Will it be renewed?

New reports boast 26,000 jobs created by Put Illinois To Work, the largest federally funded employment program. Three quarters of those jobs are in Chicago. The program, supported by millions in stimulus dollars, expires at the end of the month and supporters are hoping Congress will extend funding. Also in the news … Massachusetts just... Read more »

Shore Bank fails, and a vacuum in lending is left behind in low-income communities

Shore Bank customers talk about the significance of loans they used to rehab houses and revitalize low-income areas, loans that they would not be eligible for at an ordinary bank. Now that Shore Bank has gone under, they worry what type of economic investment will be available in already struggling Chicago neighborhoods hit hard by... Read more »

Fired exec says Fannie Mae helped itself, not homeowners

A former Fannie Mae executive alleges that the home loan agency focused on making money for itself, and not providing enough help for homeowners facing foreclosure. Also… The U.S. Senate approved school funding and aid to state budgets at the expense of food stamp programs. While visiting a Ford plan on Chicago ‘s South Side... Read more »