Guest Columns

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(…)

Sick days should be available to all

By ALD. WILL BURNS (4TH) The vast majority of middle class workers in Chicago earn paid sick days. It’s something many of us take for granted. So much so, that it’s hard to imagine an employer who doesn’t offer paid sick days. But the truth is that a disproportionate number of hourly workers and low-income workers are(…)

Thanks to all who supported Dyett

To the Editor: Three years ago the Chicago Board of Education voted to phase out Dyett High School by 2015. I, along with many other Bronzeville residents and stakeholders, opposed that decision. We engaged in advocacy efforts at the time to stop the Dyett closure. We were not successful in 2011. But I remained undaunted.(…)

At what cost does our budget come?

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE The General Assembly approved a $35.3 billion state budget this spring. While there were some spending reductions, we were able to maintain most funding for health and human services. In fact, we restored some cuts in the state program that funds medical care for the poor: low-income adults will(…)

Voting under threat in U.S.

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25) In Indiana, you can’t vote unless you have a photo identification card issued by the government. In Ohio, the opportunity to vote early has been severely curtailed. In North Carolina, the Justice Department has asked a federal judge to block similar laws from taking effect this November. In(…)

Harper Court sale is progress

By Derek R.B. Douglas On July 29, the University of Chicago announced that it had sold Harper Court. That news marks another milestone in the community partnership that sparked redevelopment efforts more than seven years ago, a partnership that has been enormously rewarding and successful. The City of Chicago, local community leaders and the university(…)

Vanishing promises made to the poor of our ward

By JAY TRAVIS The commitment by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and local elected officials to ensure one-third of the housing units demolished under the Plan for Transformation is replaced for former public housing residents, and the development of an additional one-third of housing units for working families that need affordable housing on publicly-owned CHA(…)

Why a living wage?

By ALD. WILL BURNS (4TH) Chicago workers deserve a living wage. Last week, I was asked to co-chair a panel that aims to find effective, meaningful ways of increasing the city’s minimum wage. And while our leaders in Springfield work to set standards that meet the needs of Illinois, our focus will be the needs(…)

Recent concern about school inequality ignores Dyett

By Jay Travis Recently, Alds. Pat Dowell (3rd) and Will Burns (4th) demanded hearings be held after a report indicated that white students were enrolled at a significantly higher rate than African American students in Chicago’s top four selective enrollment high schools. The irony is that both Alds. Dowell and Burns have not been nearly(…)

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(…)