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Midwest

Chicago Renters Back ‘ROOTS’ as Solution to Affordable Housing

Chicago Renters Back ‘ROOTS’ as Solution to Affordable Housing

In Roxanne Smith’s Chicago kitchen, a framed excerpt from Barack Obama’s 2008 Grant Park presidential victory speech hangs for all to see. “America, we have come so far,” it reads. “But there is so much more to do.” Smith, 60, has come a long way herself in recent years. In 2013, she faced potential homelessness after […]

Illinois Creates New Protections in its Juvenile Justice System

Illinois Creates New Protections in its Juvenile Justice System

Grassroots advocates won new protections last week for youth charged with serious crimes in Illinois, including greater access to lawyers and video recordings of interrogations while they are in custody. On Aug. 22, Gov. Bruce Rauner approved legislation (SB 2370) designed to ensure that juveniles younger than 15 have legal representation if they are in […]

Illinois Domestic Workers Win Wage Victory With Bill of Rights

Illinois Domestic Workers Win Wage Victory With Bill of Rights

Workers won what they are calling a “monumental change” Aug. 12, when Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation into law that will ensure an estimated 35,000 domestic workers are paid the prevailing minimum wage, earn time off and gain other basic workplace rights. The victory caps a five-year grassroots campaign to gain protections for house […]

Philando Castile’s Mom on Son’s Death: ‘Black in the Wrong Place’

Philando Castile’s Mom on Son’s Death: ‘Black in the Wrong Place’

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — The fatal shooting of a Black man in his car by a Minnesota police officer went viral Thursday, its aftermath broadcast live over Facebook by the victim’s girlfriend, who cried that he had just been shot “for no apparent reason.” The shooting happened late Wednesday during a traffic stop in […]

Illinois Advocates to Leaders: Stop the Damage, Pass a Budget

Illinois Advocates to Leaders: Stop the Damage, Pass a Budget

Illinois will hit an unwanted milestone on July 1 when it will mark one year without a state budget, a standoff that is threatening networks of support for families and already hitting programs for homeless youth, seniors and students. The standoff is sending shockwaves through social service agencies and nonprofits around the state, which is […]

Ill. Fails, Again, to Pass Budget, Putting Families and Schools at Risk

Ill. Fails, Again, to Pass Budget, Putting Families and Schools at Risk

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois appears poised to enter a second year without a budget after lawmakers finished their legislative session without agreement on a spending plan, setting up a November electoral showdown while public schools and social service providers brace for an uncertain future. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s suggestion for a last-minute, short-term budget […]

Special Series: Chicago Woman Ensures Youth Voice Is Present

  Sarah Mozelle Johnson has lived in the Albany Park neighborhood in Chicago all her life and has been a leader with Communities United, a grassroots organization, for the past four years. At Communities United, which was formerly known as Albany Park Neighborhood Council, Sarah has been involved in the fight for more systemic support […]

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