Politics/National Security

20-year-old candidate for Cook County’s 13th District pushes grassroots campaigning

By Elizabeth Beyer
Medill Reports

Bushra Amiwala was still in her teens when she announced her candidacy last March as one of three democratic contenders for the Cook County Board in the 13th District.

The DePaul University student, now 20, said people questioned her qualifications and background because of her age when she entered into the race. But the recent wave of first-time female candidates washed away the skeptics. Continue reading

Pilsen residents demand rent controls at Town Hall meeting

Nathan Ouellette
Medill Reports

Demands for rent control and affordable housing took center stage, Monday, in the St. Pius V Church basement, as residents of Pilsen and Little Village rose one by one to voice concerns at Pilsen’s Community Town Hall on Rent Control and Property Taxes.

The Town Hall, conducted both in Spanish and English, focused on lifting the statewide ban on rent controls as residents fight to stay in their homes.  The presence of State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss (D-9) and State Representative Theresa Mah (D-2), co-sponsors of SB2310, Repeals the Rent Control Preemptive Act bill, gave community members the opportunity to meet with their elected officials. 

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reinforces NBA’s stance on sports betting

By Richard Foster-Shelton
Medill Reports

LOS ANGELES – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver emphasized his belief that the NBA should receive a 1% “integrity fee” if the Supreme Court gives all 50 states the option to legalize sports gambling as expected later this year.

“From the NBA’s standpoint, we will spend this year roughly $7.5 billion creating this content, creating these games,” Silver said during his annual state of the league address. “This notion that as the intellectual property creators that we should receive a one percent fee seems very fair to me.”

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Record number of millennials sign up to run for local office in 2018 midterms

By Elizabeth Beyer
Medill Reports

Grassroots organizations launched since the last national election to train young first-time candidates received thousands of requests for assistance.

First time candidates under the age of 35 are taking on entrenched incumbents in midterm races across the country. Many of them cited the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and lack of representation in local politics as their motivation.

One such organization, Run For Something, launched in January of 2017 with mostly small-donor contributions. 

“We thought it’d be really small, we’d get maybe 100 people who would want to run in the first year. Instead we have 15,000 millennials signed up with us to say they want to run for office,” said Amanda Litman, founder of Run for Something.

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One year after inauguration, self care becomes indispensable for some

By Yunyi(Jessie) Liu
Medill Reports

Chicago Public School teacher Erika Woaniak, who works in Oriole Park Elementary School in West Town, said she has relieved her guilt regarding many of President Donald Trump’s positions through stepped-up self care.

”I used to think I should have been out knocking on doors for a candidate who is an ally,” she said. But now she takes time for herself. ”Also I’ll remind my students they’re allowed to have a break as well. So if they don’t get A on their math test that they really wanted, that’s OK.”

An American Psychological Association Study conducted after Trump’s election shows that 66 percent of American adults – both democrats and republicans – said the future of the nation is causing them significant stress. To reduce that stress,  Woaniak, media strategist Joanna Klousky and  journalist Jen Sabella host ”The Girl Talk,” focusing on self care for the January gathering.

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Women’s March draws more than 300,000 to Grant Park

By Xiaozhang(Shaw) Wan

One year after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, more than 300,000 marchers joined the second annual Women’s March in Chicago. They rallied for the votes in November to defeat Trump’s policies and called for more women candidates.

“If we don’t register to vote, register our friends and neighbors, knock on doors, support other women who run for office and run for office ourselves, we will continue to be marginalized,” said Toni Preckwinkle, one of several speakers.

A large turnout of immigrants and children participated. Launching a large voter turnout for the 2018 elections, defending women’s reproductive rights and protecting immigrants were among the priorities for marchers.

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Immigration courts remain backlogged in big cities as judges are sent to the border

By Mariana Alfaro
Medill Reports

In April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent 25 immigration judges to detention centers near the border and promised to add 125 new judges to the bench in the next two years, all part of the Administration’s plan to “fight against criminal aliens.” This plan was criticized by immigrant communities and advocates as a way to expedite deportations without due process, delaying more than 20,000 cases in immigration courts across the country.

As judges headed to detention facilities on the border, immigration courts across the country continued to struggle with a backlog of cases that, though dating back to the Obama-era, has grown under President Donald Trump’s administration.

According to Politico, in January there were around 540,000 cases caught in the immigration court backlog. By August 2017, the number had grown to 632,261, with nearly 50 percent of these cases in California, New York and Texas — states that account for nearly half of the country’s immigrant population, according to the Pew Research Center. Judges sent to the border told Politico that their dockets were nearly empty in their newly assigned courts, with some likening the temporary uproot to a vacation.

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More Than 1,000 Eligible DACA Recipients in Illinois Miss Renewal Deadline, USCIS Reveals

By Griselda Flores
Medill Reports

More than 1,000 eligible DACA recipients in Illinois did not meet the Oct. 5 deadline to renew their temporary legal status application, according to data from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

By the renewal deadline, 6,670 individuals out of 8,650 eligible submitted their DACA renewals in Illinois, which means that 1,980 had not filed their application by the cutoff date set by President Donald Trump’s administration.

While the percentage of those who didn’t meet the deadline seems relatively low, the number in Illinois is significant given its large population of DACA recipients.

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NU symposium honors chemist Vladimir Nikolayevich Ipatieff who helped win World War II

By Lakshmi Chandrasekaran

Chemists Vladimir Nikolayevich Ipatieff and Herman Pines, both immigrants to America, put their brilliant minds to work creating a special aviation fuel, a closely guarded secret that helped the Allied forces win World War II.

Ipatieff developed the field of surface catalysis used extensively in refining petroleum by-products into fuel components. Ipatieff is regarded as one of the fathers of catalysis – a means to accelerate chemical reactions by adding an additional substance called a catalyst.

The Center for Catalysis and Surface Science (CCSS) and Institute of Sustainability and Energy (ISEN) at Northwestern hosted a symposium honoring Ipatieff on Sept. 7 as part of his 150th birthday celebrations, and focused on his pioneering scientific contributions.

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Chicago fast-food workers continue call for a $15 minimum wage

By Wenjing Yang

Deshawn Bell, 35, is a fast food worker in Chicago. He has been working at a McDonald’s restaurant for the past ten years and struggles to make ends meet. He joined a march on May 23rd in downtown Chicago that drew 1,500 demonstrators from across the nation to call for a $15 minimum wage. The march was organized by the union-backed advocacy group ‘Fight for $15’ and was timed to send a message the day before the McDonald’s annual stockholder meeting.

McDonald’s Corp. had revenue of $24.62 billion in 2016. Every year, the company and its franchisees employ hundreds of thousands of people, but has long been a target of complaints about the wages it pays those workers.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based fast food giant increased its hourly wages to $1 above local minimum wage at corporate-owned restaurants in 2015.

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