All posts by gainesj

The resistance gets real: Civil libertarians imagine life, action in the age of Trump

By Jordan Gaines

Now that President-elect Donald J. Trump’s path to the White House is clear, Chicago-area progressives met Monday night to map out a game plan to protect civil liberties during a Trump administration.

“Everybody in this room is still trying to wrap their heads around what happened on Nov 8,” said state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) during a gathering of more than 300 people at Center on Halsted, which advocates for LGBT rights, including representatives from Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and Equality Illinois. “They sat in front of their televisions and watched everything unravel.”

Continue reading

Food summit: Healthy food access must include eliminating waste

By Jordan Gaines

As foodies and farmers alike gathered at the Chicago Food Tank Summit earlier this month at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center to discuss ways to maximize and sustain food, conversations of working with the food we already have continuously boiled down to two words: food waste.

“It’s kind of a divisive issue, some people say we need GMOs to feed people, and other people say other types of farming will keep the soil healthy, but I think one thing people are agreeing on is a reduction in food waste,” said Monica Eng, a WBEZ food and health reporter and moderator of a panel addressing food waste.

Continue reading

Like they say: Chicago businesswoman shows black lingo is valuable, bankable

By Jordan Gaines

For those in the know, sayings like “Can I live?” and “The Only Thing I Have 2 Do Is Stay Black and Die” sums up a lot about the black experience, one that is often overlooked in the words and images that describe the American lived experience.

That’s why Chicago entrepreneur Dianna Ada Harris watched YouTube videos to learn how to turn an idea she got from Tumblr post into a lucrative business reclaiming African-American colloquialisms. Launched in 2014, BLK PROVERBS aims to  keep African-American vernacular English close to the communities that created it.

You see black language everywhere,” Harris said. “You have our language getting to the mainstream and being significantly watered down and misused.”

Continue reading

Millennial voters: Don’t count them in, don’t count them out, either

By Jordan Gaines

In the final leg of the race to the White House all hands are on deck to get millennials to the polls. Young adults, in fact,  have been blamed for the race being such a close call.

This generation is being haunted by a traditionally low voter turnout with only 45 percent of 18 to 29 year olds voting in the 2012 election, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Even in the 2008 presidential election, when millennials were credited for helping get Obama in the Oval Office, only 50 percent of those eligible to vote did so.

Now, with the youngest members of the generation being of voting age and the number of eligible millennial voters being almost equal to that of baby boomers, eyes are on the young voters who were drawn to the primary race for Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) to show up to the polls.

Continue reading

‘Shark Tank’ food contest fulfills hunger for locally produced food

By Jordan Gaines

Locally sourced food creates local jobs and creates smaller carbon footprint, which is better for the environment. So why is it that only 6 percent of food grown in Illinois consumed here?

In a “Shark Tank”-style competition, a team composed of three food-based concerns won the right last week to solve that problem with a winning $500,000 plan to bring produce to more than 250,000 Chicago families. Comprised of FarmLogix, Top Box Foods and This Old Farm, the trio beat out 24 teams with a creative plan to get locally sourced food on local tables in a contest sponsored by the Kinship Foundation and Chicago Community Trust.

Continue reading

Transgender rights activists claim safe spaces

By Jordan Gaines

Like many transgender women across the nation, T.T. Saffore found no safety in law enforcement, and threats of violence were a normal part of life. When the 27-year-old hairstylist was found murdered Sept. 11 in Garfield Park, she had not shared a recent threat to her life by another transgender woman three days before, friends say.

It was no surprise, then, that a recent vigil of 200 people who came to honor Saffore quickly turned into a protest, blocking traffic, drawing police: “Turn up for T.T.! Turn up for T.T.! Turn up for T.T.!,” protesters shouted the night of Oct. 5 in the Boystown area of the Lakeview neighborhood, demanding justice for Saffore and other slain black transgender women across the nation.

A UCLA survey reports that transgender people make up less than 1 percent of the U.S. population.  Despite that, according to the Human Rights Campaign and the Advocate, over 40 transgender individuals have been murdered in the past two years and the number is increasing as more homicides have been reported since those numbers were released. Most of the victims were transgender women of color. Many of their murders remain unsolved.

Continue reading