Guest Columns

Unpacking Burns’ ideas

Editor’s note: A column by Ald. Will Burns (4th) in last week’s Herald presented three ideas to raise revenue for the city. We asked a staff member to provide further explanation about these ideas. By Jeffrey Bishku-Aykul Staff Writer In Ald. Will Burns’ (4th) column in last week’s issue of the Herald, the city council(…)

Taking a look at the options for easing fiscal crisis

By. ALD. WILL BURNS (4TH) Our city faces a crisis — how to generate the revenue to pay down $34 billion in pension liabilities. Reductions in pension benefits are not enough to close the gap. New and sustainable revenue is necessary to meet these responsibilities. In the midst of this fiscal crisis, many Chicagoans continue(…)

Why I deserve to be reelected

By STATE REP. CHRISTIAN MITCHELL (D-26) Before you elected me as your state representative, I was a community organizer with Southsiders Organizing For Unity and Liberation. I worked with families to fight for education funding reform, affordable housing and to create jobs in our communities. I later went on to work on senior staff for(…)

Why I’m running for the 26th District

By JAY TRAVIS I was born, raised and educated in the neighborhoods of the 26th District. Growing up, my grandmother told me stories of how she had to stand up to slumlords in Kenwood to ensure that her hard-earned rent paid for safe, clean housing. She pressed upon me that no matter where you were from, you deserved(…)

Why e-cigarettes need greater restriction

By ALD. WILLIAM D. BURNS (4TH) In January, I co-sponsored an ordinance to apply smoking restrictions to electronic cigarettes — namely, that e-cigarettes cannot be used in restaurants, bars and indoors. My father died 12 years ago at the age of 59 of a heart attack caused by a lifetime of smoking. Despite my father’s(…)

Why I pushed the pension bill

By STATE SEN. KWAME RAOUL (D-13) A legislator’s test of courage is not the 90 percent of votes that are easy, but the 10 percent that are not. The solvency of our pension funds, our declining bond rating, the quality of public education, essential state services and yes, the promises Illinois has made to its(…)

Take a stand on fracking regulations

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25) With the support of the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental advocates, the General Assembly approved and Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation last spring to regulate fracking operations in downstate Illinois. Hydraulic fracking differs from traditional methods of mining underground gas and oil as(…)

Shine a light on business

By ALD. WILL BURNS (4TH) Chicago — like the State of Illinois — is in fiscal crisis. Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Revenue’s 2010 Annual Report states on page 14 that fully two-thirds of corporations operating in Illinois paid NO corporate income tax to the state. When the state grants tax breaks to large corporations,(…)