Political Reports

Valaparaiso University expanding Hyde Park site

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor Valparaiso University will expand its presence in Hyde Park next January. Since January 2013, the Indiana school’s first satellite campus, Valparaiso University of Chicago, has been offering graduate classes for its Master in Health Administration out of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 1100 E. 55th St.(…)

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(…)

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(…)

We should delay Canter closure

By ALD. WILL BURNS (4th) I attended the public meeting held Monday, April 8, 2013 to listen to the concerns of the Canter School community. I wanted to hear from the community so that I could, as alderman, amplify those concerns to the Chicago Board of Education. I have worked to save many of the(…)

Reconsidering Canter closure

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25) Editor’s note: This column was originally published on the Herald website. I share the concern voiced by many in the community about the Chicago Board of Education’s preliminary decision to close Canter Middle School. In terms of becoming the first choice for area middle-schoolers, Canter did not completely(…)

Canter deserves another look

By STATE SEN. KWAME RAOUL (D-13) As a lifelong Hyde Park resident and parent, I am keenly concerned by the decision to close Canter Middle School, the product of a community vision for our neighborhood’s middle school students. It is not my place as a state legislator to micromanage the affairs of any school district,(…)

Health care for all a step closer

By STATE SEN. KWAME RAOUL (D-13th) During the White House tenure of my predecessor in this senate seat, our nation has finally begun moving the ball forward on health care access for all. Last week, the Illinois senate voted to expand our Medicaid program, using federal dollars to extend eligibility to hundreds of thousands of low-income Illinoisans. Like(…)

Local response to gun violence

By STATE SEN. KWAME RAOUL (D-13) In the face of unspeakable tragedies like the massacre of teachers and schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut, we all experience a desire to honor the dead, assist the survivors and protect our own children. And when we recall that acts of senseless violence take place every day on the streets(…)

On immigration and schools

By STATE SEN. KWAME RAOUL (D-13) Like so many Americans, I am a child of immigrants. My parents left Haiti to pursue a better life here in Chicago. They eked out a piece of the American dream for me, and they used their talents to give back to their new home. I understand the positive(…)

Vote — for yourself and your community

BY STATE SEN. KWAME RAOUL (D-13) I voted this past week, and I encourage you to do the same. With early voting available to all registered voters now through Nov. 3, we have little excuse to avoid our civic duty and cherished right. With my ballot cast, I now turn my attention to making certain(…)

A rough budget season in Springfield hurts important programs

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25) The spring session of the Illinois General Assembly saw some winners—and some losers. I’ll write about the winners another time. This report focuses on the people who depend upon the state for help and for services but who found themselves with the short end of the stick this(…)