Chicago minimum-wage hike hitting small-business owners

When Chicago City Council voted in 2014 to hike the city’s minimum wage to $13 an hour over the next five years, business owners warned there would be pain. The owner of the iconic Original Rainbow Cone ice cream shop in Beverley said she would be forced to cut the number of students her business... Read more »

Chicago area sees largest black exodus in the U.S.

The Chicago area lost more than 35,000 black residents between 2014 to 2015, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This stands as the largest black exodus of any metropolitan area in the country, according to analysis from the Chicago Tribune. This loss of black residents led the Chicago metropolitan statistical area, which... Read more »

Chicago Public Schools spent $100K to lobby Springfield for more money

Chicago Public Schools, or CPS, has spent $103,000 to lobby state lawmakers for a larger share of state funding, according to a June 18 report form the Chicago Sun-Times. A majority of the money went to transport and feed CPS supporters during a trip to Springfield in May. A marketing firm, consulting company and animation... Read more »

City workers turned aldermen shouldn’t get special treatment

It’s tough to find a job in Chicago. Especially one that pays six figures and comes with a potential million-dollar pension payout. But Alderman Sue Garza was lucky enough to snag one of those jobs in 2015 after winning a seat in City Council, representing the 10th Ward. Chicago aldermen are among the highest-paid city politicians... Read more »

Chicago rent out of reach as city hamstrings developers

A typical apartment is far too expensive for the average Chicago family, according to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. More than 1 million renters call the Chicago area home. Their estimated median income is just above $36,500. But affording a modest one-bedroom apartment requires an annual salary of more than... Read more »

How government paved the way for Chicago's segregated poverty

Chicago is divided. With the decline of the city’s middle class, it is increasingly a city made up of the prosperous and the poor. This fissure cracks along racial lines. Chicago is the most segregated city in America. Of the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., it is home to the highest proportion of black... Read more »

Chicago’s sharing economy provides needed stability, path to middle class

Lamar Stovall worked his last day at the Chicago Park District last fall. The father of five was frustrated with the politics of his job. And he wanted more flexibility to be with his kids. He found that flexibility in ridesharing. Stovall was already familiar with ridesharing, even taking Uber to work most days. In... Read more »

Chicago Teachers Union calls for nearly $500M in tax hikes

The Chicago Teachers Union, or CTU, on May 4 unveiled its plan to save Chicago Public Schools, or CPS. Absent from the plan are structural reforms to ensure more money flows to the classroom, calls for cost savings in general, and any signs of awareness that Chicagoans are shouldering the largest property-tax increase in city... Read more »

Chicago’s city gas tax would be highest in the nation under new ordinance

Worried about pain at the pump? Chicago gas taxes would become even higher under a proposal from 36th Ward Ald. Gilbert Villegas. The alderman’s ordinance, introduced April 13, would hike the city’s motor fuel tax to 12 cents per gallon from 5 cents per gallon – a whopping 140 percent increase that would make Chicago’s... Read more »

Jail before trial should be for the dangerous, not the disadvantaged

Should a man too poor to make bail spend 114 days in jail awaiting trial for allegedly stealing a Snickers bar? What about 308 days for a homeless man accused of snatching toothpaste and breath mints? Those were real cases in the Cook County Department of Corrections. And taxpayers were on the hook for more... Read more »