Public Affairs

St. Sabina community deplores ‘watered-down’ version of King’s legacy

By Andersen Xia & Thomas Yau

A day before the slain civil rights leader’s birthday, parishioners accuse the “establishment” of giving the public a watered-down version of the non-violence movement, claiming vestiges of racism continue to pervade American society. Continue reading

Garcia to voters: My ‘priorities very different’ from Emanuel’s

By Matt Yurus

Speaking before Karen Lewis and other city leaders at City Club of Chicago Tuesday, mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia reminded voters that his “priorities are very different from those of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.”

Garcia argued that his plans for education, policing and financial reforms would bring steady improvements to Chicago. His tone was cautiously optimistic, acknowledging that these reforms would take time.

Continue reading

Homeless dead cost Cook County hundreds per burial

By Margaret Anderson

Plywood boxes are stacked in a warehouse at Cook County Facilities Management waiting for a call from the medical examiner’s office, where they’ll be the last home for those who died on the street.

Each time a homeless person is buried, the cost to Cook County is $474. There are over 6,000 homeless braving the Chicago winter, but the city has beds for only 3,000, said Matt Smith, the communication director for the Department of Family and Support Services.

Continue reading

VIDEO: Hardworking city college students might soon study for free

By Grace Eleyae

While on his nationwide tour, President Obama spoke about a plan to institute free community college education to students with a C-average or better.  Locally, this benefit will soon be seen in the City Colleges of Chicago, with Mayor Emanuel’s recent announcement of the Star Scholarship — great news for students in a system where many are dependent on financial aid.

Continue reading

VIDEO: New grant aims to increase pre-k enrollment

By Meg Rauch

Ninety percent of a child’s brain development has already taken place by the age of five. That’s why preschool is so important for a child’s intellectual, social and emotional growth. A new grant aims to expand early childhood education in Chicago.  Continue reading

VIDEO: Hundreds debate Obama Presidential Library bid in Washington Park

By Marika Bastrmajian

On the second day of community discussions, over 200 residents in Washington Park continued to deliberate the possibility of bringing the Obama Presidential Library to the south side.   The proposal is to use roughly 22 acres of public parkland.

Continue reading

Songs for Burge torture victims fill City Hall

By Kate Morrissey

Voices echoed off the stone walls of the second floor of City Hall Thursday morning as both song and protest supported Chicago Police torture victim reparations.

Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, with support from Project NIA and Amnesty International, organized the sing-in on January 15, Martin Luther King Jr.’s actual birthday, during the Committee on Finance meeting. About 40 demonstrators called for a hearing on an ordinance first introduced to City Council in 2013. The ordinance would give financial reparations to victims of police torture under the command of Jon Burge, who worked out of a far South Side police district, and provide psychological counseling, health care and education for victims and their families. Continue reading

Fear Factor: The High Hidden Cost of the Ebola Epidemic

By Jamie Friedlander

The “cost” of an epidemic such as Ebola usually targets the dollar toll in hospital fees and economic downturns. But the loss of lives and the measure of suffering remains a lasting and growing cost.

“In terms of the cost in Liberia, it’s not dollars and cents. It’s the death of a generation,” said Robert A. Weinstein, MD, professor of internal medicine at Rush Medical College, in reference to the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Continue reading

At South Side meeting, disputes erupt over Obama library

By Emily Hoerner

Nearly 1,000 community leaders and residents gathered in Hyde Park for a public meeting Tuesday night, where tensions flared over using roughly 20 acres of Chicago Park District land for the Barack Obama Presidential Library.

The two sites, Washington Park and Jackson Park, proposed by the University of Chicago belong to the Chicago Park District. If the Barack Obama Foundation chooses either bid, the land would have to be acquired by the city. Continue reading