Guest Columns

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,(…)

On corporate giveaways

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25) Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) asks for a state handout to facilitate the company’s decision to stay in Illinois. ADM is a Fortune 100 company with sales last year that reached nearly $90 billion. ADM would like to leave Decatur, its home of 44 years, and move to Chicago,(…)

Why I’m not running for governor

By STATE SEN. KWAME RAOUL (D-13) First, I want to convey my deep and lasting appreciation to the men and women, from communities throughout the state, who have expressed confidence in my ability to lead Illinois as its next chief executive. I am inspired by their determination to improve life for all our residents, and(…)

Pressure reverses sprinkler rule

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25) Below is a letter I sent to Gov. Pat Quinn about proposed new sprinkler system rules. After hearing from many constituents and legislators such as myself, Gov. Quinn asked the Fire Marshall to rescind his proposal late last week and the Fire Marshall complied. Thank you to everyone(…)

Founder on permission wall

Founder on permission wall

By DESI WOME First, a little basic history on the ongoing permission wall behind the Mobil gas station in Hyde Park. We always called it “the Mobil wall,” “53rd Street” or the “Hyde Park wall.” I started that wall in 1992. I got permission from the Mobil station. There was never a forged letter. People(…)

We won justice before. We can win it again.

By Tim Black People refer to him simply as “Trayvon.” As if we knew him personally. We identify so closely with him and with his parents. We think of Trayvon as a beloved young son of the entire African American people. His anguished parents displayed great dignity throughout the trial. Around our kitchen tables, it’s(…)

Thanks to Board of Ed

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25) I am pleased that the members of the Chicago Board of Education agreed with our community and with me that it makes no sense to deny Canter Middle School seventh graders the chance to finish their 8th grade year in place. Closing the school now would have meant(…)

Keep Canter open

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25) The Chicago Board of Education will soon make decisions about school closures, decisions that will disrupt communities and displace large numbers of students. One can only hope that the board’s decisions will be made with care and caution. One can only hope that dislocated students will find themselves(…)

Schools are the foundations of communities

Schools are the foundations of communities

By TIMUEL D. BLACK Recently, I had the honor of receiving Chicago’s inaugural “Champion of Freedom” award in recognition of social justice and civil rights activism. In presenting the award, Mayor Emanuel discussed his personal commitment to social justice and quality education for all. As grateful as I was to receive this honor, I am(…)

Don’t deny education for all

By TIMUEL D. BLACK I am fortunate that on Friday, Feb. 15, I have been invited to be a guest at President Obama’s appearance at Hyde Park High School, where I was a faculty member for more than two years. I had friends that attended Hyde Park High School more than 50 years ago. I(…)

Health starts with teeth

By DR. YETTA G. MCCULLOM In 1988 my husband traveled to Chicago to find a place for our family to start our lives together. Hyde Park was the location he felt would be best for his young family to thrive. Having lived here, it’s no surprise this community has nurtured so many great ideas and(…)

A NEW YEAR’S GIFT WE MUST GIVE OURSELVES

by Timuel D. Black Our holiday season this year was marred by the terrible event in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty babies and six teachers mowed down by a crazed young man with an assault rifle. Twenty lives erased before they had a chance to begin. Lives which may have held the key to curing disease, to(…)