Public Affairs

VIDEO: High-tech transportation transforms Chicago

By Mariel Turner

High-tech transportation is growing all over the country, and Chicago is no exception. A recent study cites services like Uber, Lyft and Divvy, to rank the Windy City as 14th in the nation for shared-use mobility.  Continue reading

10th ward candidates debate jobs, safety for the Southeast Side

By Lizz Giordano and Sarah Kramer

Candidates for Chicago’s 10th Ward aldermanic seat called for more jobs and more police presence for the economically depressed Southeast Side at an open forum in Hegewisch.

Five of the seven candidates running in the upcoming citywide elections on February 24 appeared Thursday night before an audience of activists, residents and supporters. The contenders voiced frustration with City Hall and the current Ald. John Pope while calling for greater transparency in municipal politics. Continue reading

VIDEO: Challenges persist for women entrepreneurs

By Meg Rauch

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner recently signed an executive order to improve business opportunities for women and minorities. And President Obama is urging Congress to pass legislation for women to receive equal pay in the workplace. These actions aim to help women entrepreneurs to overcome many of the challenges they face today. A Chicago law clinic has also stepped in to help.  Continue reading

Chicago’s ‘problem landlords list’ questioned by experts

By Stephanie Choporis

Housing experts and a private building owner are questioning the effectiveness of Chicago’s ‘problem’ landlords list and the properties selected for the record.

Some think the list is limited in scope and not targeting landlords with the most serious building code violations.

The inaugural list, published on the department of buildings website on Jan. 27, contains 45 residential properties and their landlords. Owners on the list have gone through at least two administrative hearings in the past two years for the listed property and were found responsible for three or more serious building code violations, such as inadequate heat, lack of hot water, defective or missing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and insect infestation.
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VIDEO: Drone interest takes off as regulation lags behind popularity

By Laura Furr

From the White House to Chicago’s suburbs, from Lollapalooza to Snapchat, unmanned aerial systems, commonly known as drones, have been making headlines.

And as drone technology becomes cheaper with user-friendly photo and video capabilities, interest in personal drone use has taken off. Continue reading

Does Chicago’s homicide rate rise and fall with cold winter weather?

By Dean DeChiaro

There’s evidence to support the conventional wisdom that as temperatures in Chicago increase, so does crime. But that narrative usually focuses on spring and summer, when statistics show violent crimes, including homicide, occur most frequently. But do those summer patterns also hold true for a particularly mild winter?

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VIDEO: Grassroots group canvasses for Ramirez-Rosa in 35th Ward

By Adam Banicki

The Chicago City Council elections are weeks away and Reclaim Chicago volunteers are canvassing the streets seeking support for new progressive candidates.

Reclaim Chicago, a grassroots political organization, strives to elect new progressive candidates as the city’s officials. Its goal: to get corporate interests out of city politics.

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VIDEO: After city posts ‘Bad Landlord’ list, South Austin residents take action

By Joe Musso

Earlier this week the City of Chicago Buildings Department compiled and posted a list of 45 properties cited for failing to provide tenants with basic services such as proper heating, working smoke detectors and hot water.  Elce Redmond and the South Austin Coalition went door to door to make tenants aware of the list and help them understand what can be done to improve their buildings.

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For-Profit College Agrees to Forgive Almost Half a Billion in Student Debt

By Lucy Ren

Troubled for-profit college chain Corinthian Colleges Inc. agreed with the U.S. Department of Education and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to forgive at least $480 million on private student loans, marking an “unprecedented debt relief,” according to CFPB Spokeswoman Moira Vahey.

The debt relief announced on Tuesday marks a 40 percent reduction in Corinthian’s principal balance on private loans, according to a Tuesday press release by CFPB.

The nonprofit education firm ECMC Group Inc. announced on Monday that it had finalized its acquisition for 56 of the 107 Everest and WyoTech campuses from Corinthian Colleges. Zenith Education Group, a new nonprofit subsidiary of ECMC is taking over the colleges. 

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Immigration, DHS bill stalls in Senate, divides Illinois senators

By Christine Smith

Illinois Sens. Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin split along party lines during a procedural Senate vote Tuesday about the Department of Homeland Security’s budget and President Barack Obama’s immigration executive order.

The bill, which would have created a new $40 billion budget for the DHS before its current one expires on Feb. 27, also included a controversial section that would undo Obama’s recent immigration actions. Senate Democrats, including Durbin, who were not onboard with the immigration component, voted against the bill, resulting in a 51-48 vote and its failure. The bill needed 60 votes to advance. Continue reading