Guest Columns

The Kenwood Broncos’ miracle season comes to an end

By Joseph Phillips  Sports Writer After clinching a conference title, a regional title and advancing to the city championship game for the first time in school history, the Kenwood Academy High School Broncos boys basketball team’s season came to an end after a 59-57 buzzer beater loss to the Curie Academy High School Condors, Friday,(…)

House Bill 2990 offers help for those affected by budget cuts

By State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-25) Even in the absence of a state budget—eight months into the fiscal year—many state responsibilities are funded today. They’re funded because a statute requires continuing spending. Expenditures for some programs are required by court orders. A few, but very few, are funded in the more usual way—dollars appropriated(…)

Ald. Will Burns

Editor’s note: Ald. Will Burns (4th) sent the following statement Feb. 1 after news of his resignation was released, Jan. 31. Dear Friends: It has been my honor to serve the people of the Fourth Ward and the City of Chicago for the past five years. Working together, we have added hundreds of units of new housing,(…)

Raoul on State of the State: Governor’s “actions matter far more thin his words”

State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-13) issued the following statement after hearing Governor Bruce Rauner’s update on the state of Illinois Jan. 27: It was good to hear the governor say that “we must cast partisanship and ideology aside.” I’m happy those words came from his lips, and I’m hoping someday they’ll make it to his(…)

Let’s save Hales Franciscan

I’m not just a legislator; I’m a Hyde Park resident and – most importantly – a father. Like any father, I’m deeply worried about the recent rash of gun violence in my neighborhood. At times in the past two months, gunfire has even been exchanged across from my house, along paths my own kids walk(…)

Votes show double standard

By STATE SEN. KWAME RAOUL (D-13) The state Senate took two very important actions last Wednesday. But when the votes were cast, some were steeped in hypocrisy. Illinois has a heroin problem. Even as the yearly death toll from overdoses has risen to the highest of any state, we’ve posted the largest decline in resources(…)

Planning requires everyone’s support

By ALD. PAT DOWELL (3RD) In a recent guest column (“City Owes CHA Residents What It Promised Them,” Hyde Park Herald, June 24, 2015), Jay Travis called for elected officials to “deliver on the promise” of replacing homes formerly located in Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) high-rises with affordable, new replacement units on the same land,(…)

City owes CHA residents what it promised them

By JAY TRAVIS It is possible to desire an increase in commercial development in the 3rd and 4th wards, and also expect the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and elected officials to honor the agreement to replace the percentage of public housing units promised in the CHA’s Plan for Transformation. It’s irresponsible to imply that a(…)

Budget is our first job as politicians

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25) The news reports from the state capital are confusing and complicated. It’s pretty clear that there’s an impasse between the legislature and Gov. Bruce Rauner, between Democrats and Republicans. The impasse means that there is no budget in place for the next state budget year. The first and(…)

Bill to reform police in Illinois is important advance in moment of delays

By STATE REP. CHRISTIAN MITCHELL (D-26) Most of the recent news coverage of Springfield has focused on the budget firestorm between Governor Rauner and the Democrats – and rightfully so. Passing a fair budget that protects our state, invests in our future and meets our financial obligations is the most important job of the legislature.(…)

Springfield bipartisanship is alive and well

By STATE SEN. KWAME RAOUL (D-13) Less than a month from operating without an agreed-upon budget, as vicious rhetorical attacks mount, Illinois state government causes many of us to wonder, “Why can’t they all get along?” And why put partisan bickering ahead of the public good? There’s another side to this story. At the end(…)

Why court was correct

By JAY TRAVIS On May 8, 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court sided with public sector retirees and workers with a unanimous decision that ruled the pension law passed in 2013 unconstitutional. This court ruling honors the promises made to public sector workers and paves the way for a more collaborative process for reaching a solution(…)

Make your business dreams come true

By PATTI KIDWELL President, Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce The year 2015 is moving along at a rapid pace. As we begin the month of May and warmer days become more frequent, one’s attention is no longer about the weather and instead returns to one’s favorite daydream at work: “It’s time to start my own(…)

Equity in school funding is a central civil rights issue of our time

By STATE REP. CHRISTIAN MITCHELL (D-26) A public school in the northwest suburbs touts amenities such as a state-of-the-art rock climbing wall, a photography lab, a TV studio and free Chromebooks for all incoming students. Other districts have multiple Olympic-size swimming pools. But in some schools in the 26th District, there are children using textbooks(…)

Chamber’s vision for 2015

By PATTI KIDWELL Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce President The year 2015 has many exciting things in store for the city of Chicago as well as Hyde Park. The economy is showing some signs of life, the stock markets are on the rise and I hear and see more optimism from our local business owners.(…)

All history begins in the local

All history begins in the local

Editor’s note: University of Chicago historian Neil Harris, who has for many years made local history a special part of his work, was acknowledged last Saturday by the Hyde Park Historical Society for his dedication to Hyde Park and its past. These are a slightly edited version of his remarks. By NEIL HARRIS It is(…)

Some priorities for 2015

By STATE REP. CHRISTIAN MITCHELL (D-26) Earlier this month, I had the distinct honor of being sworn into my second term as state representative of the 26th District. I ran for office because I believe that the most important guiding principle for our state, as we debate our budget and our plan for the future,(…)

Library needs all voices

By JAY TRAVIS While there is great enthusiasm regarding the University of Chicago’s proposals to locate President Barack Obama’s presidential library in either Washington Park or Jackson Park, the concerns of residents about the bid should not be dismissed. At two separate public hearings, in which people arrived on foot, by car and by charter(…)

A voting rights victory

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25) I am thrilled that the General Assembly approved my measure to provide an election day fail-safe for Illinois voters. When Gov. Pat Quinn signs Senate Bill 172, our citizens will be able to register and vote in their home precincts on every election day starting in 2015. Last(…)

A new law to allow recording of police

You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney. And in Illinois, you have the right to record police officers. That wasn’t always the case. In March, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down one of the nation’s harshest eavesdropping laws — a statute responsible for the arrest and prosecution of(…)