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Historical Gallery: Barack Obama

by Quintana Woodridge 

We The People Media/Residents’ Journal takes a look at Barack Obama during his years in Illinois.

President Barack Obama announces the new Department of Health and Human Services director at the Chicago Hilton Hotel after the November 2008 General Election. Residents' Journal Photo by Mary C. Johns.

President Barack Obama and Education Secretary-nominee Arne Duncan in late 2008. Residents' Journal photo by Mary C. Johns.

President-elect Barack Obama, Vice President-elect Joe Biden and Education Secretary-designate Arne Duncan in late 2008. Residents' Journal photo by Mary C. Johns.

Barack Obama at a presidential debate sponsored by the AFL-CIO at Soldier Field in August 2007. Residents' Journal photo by Mary C. Johns.

Natasha "Sasha" Obama holding a campaign sign during her father's 2004 bid for the U.S. Senate. Residents' Journal photo by Mary C. Johns.

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Environmental Journalism Program Image Gallery

by Quintana Woodridge 

For the past few weeks, Chicago youth involved in the Eco Youth Reporters program, funded by the McCormick Foundation, have explored global environmental issues on a local level. They interviewed local experts on topics ranging from coal plants to the dangers of invasive fish species. Under the guidance of award-winning reporter Kari Lydersen and Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, these journalists are learning to effectively cover the larger environmental issues and spread awareness within the Chicago community through print stories, photography and video documentation.

Tyreshia Black snags invasive zebra mussels. (Photo by Kari Lydersen)

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Categories: Homepage Uncategorized UYIJP

Residents’ Journal Publisher talking about an Environmental Project for Youth

by Mary C. Piemonte 


Click on the image to view the first episode of this season’s “RJ TV,” on July 11, 2011.

Watch Residents’ Journal‘s Publisher Ethan Michaeli talking to our Urban Youth International Journalism Youth Program Coordinator Quintana Woodridge about our teen reporters’ participation in the environmental project funded by the McCormick Foundation.

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Tenants Protest CHA Plans to Drug Test Them

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Residents’ Journal’s video coverage of tenants and their advocates’, rally outside the headquarters of the Chicago Housing Authority on June 1, 2011, in protest of their plans to drug test all public housing residents, including seniors and those with disabilities.

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The Garden

by Tyreshia Black Youth Reporter

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood:

Most people don’t know you can grow gourmet vegetables right here in Chicago, where we have some of the world’s most fertile soil. But because of contamination with lead and other toxins in the soil, we should use raised beds for our urban gardening. That’s what I and other student members of Imagine Englewood If learned in our visit with polyculturalist Seneca Kern.

We visited Kern at Kilbourn Organic Garden in Logan Square, and the meeting had extra importance since Kern and the group Growing Home are in the process of starting an organic garden in Englewood.

I learned and experienced so many things I didn’t know about before, including things that will come in handy gardening. I learned that Illinois has very fertile soil, even though we usually don’t realize it because we are so busy throwing trash in parks and in landfills. Usually we just buy our food and throw it in the trash when we’re done, without even thinking about planting a garden and composting our food waste.

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The Transformation of Jason Moy

by Vanessa Gonzalez Youth Reporter

Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program:

Jason Moya had the same expectations that all teens have for themselves: to look better, feel better and be popular.

“In freshman year, I was going through a teen life crisis,” said high school student Jason Moya, 16.

The physical transformation between his freshman year and today is astonishing, the result of an emotional battle that nearly consumed him. Being the youngest child of four brothers and sisters has always pushed Jason to stand out and be noticed. While glancing at his old ID picture from middle school, it’s astonishing to even compare the physical differences. He used to be overweight, with glasses, blemishes and a bad haircut, faking a smile that showcases everything but happiness.

“Back in freshman year, Jason used to have a fade,” said Slendy Bahena, a freshman classmate of Moya. “He used to act ghetto, until he started dating an emo girl and decided to change. After he broke up with her, he stuck with his new punk rocker look. His personality didn’t change though. I guess his transformation was an accident.”

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Bronzeville Residents Aim for Police Substation on 47th Street

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Bolstered by the results of a vote conducted during the recent citywide election, Chicago residents of the 3rd and 4th wards are expressing “a strong desire” for a police substation on 47th Street, according to a local resident group in the South Side’s historic Bronzeville community.

Young professionals from the Concerned Citizens of Bronzeville stated in a press release last month that the small stretch between the Green and Red CTA lines is now “unrecognizable” compared to its heyday when jazz legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong frequented lavish night clubs along 47th Street.

The area “is filled with debris, used needles and condoms, illicit narcotic activity, rampant public drinking and urination,” the group stated.

This vacant lot, located in the 4700 block of South Prairie Avenue, is among one of those Concerned Citizens of Bronzeville suggest be the site of a sub-police station as a deterrent to crime and loitering in the area. Photo by Mary C. Johns

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Rahm Wants Urban Farms, Mobile Food Trucks

by Mary C. Piemonte 

More than 600,000 Chicagoans lack easy access to a grocery store offering healthy and fresh foods, according to mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel.

To eradicate food deserts in low-income communities throughout the city, Emmanuel plans to increase access to fresh food options, by “engaging smaller local grocery stores, facilitating public-private partnerships and encouraging community gardens to thrive,” he said at a Feb. 1 press conference at Growing Power Iron Street Farm, 3333 S. Iron St.

Chicago mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel fielding reporters questions, during his press conference at the Growing Power Iron Street Farm, on Feb. 1, where he talked about his plans to combat food deserts in low-income communities across the city. Photo by Mary C. Johns

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Categories: Homepage Special Reports

Ickes Homes News: The Final Curtain?

by Jacqueline Thompson 

For over two years, Residents’ Journal has been reporting how the Harold Ickes Homes Chicago public housing site was supposed to be rehabbed along with Dearborn Homes, Cabrini Green Rowhouses and the Altgeld Gardens far South Side public housing complex, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) April 2008 Moving to Work Agreement with the Chicago Housing Authority.

In the interim, CHA closed down and demolished most of all the buildings at Ickes, and gave residents the choice to relocate to another CHA-rehabbed property or use a Housing Choice ( Section 8 ) Voucher to rent housing in the private market.

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Relocation Rights Duel

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Public housing tenant leaders recently chided the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) for trying to deny thousands of former residents their right to return to public housing.

CHA officials admitted in the summer of 2009 they didn’t know the whereabouts of 3,200 families who were relocated under the Plan for Transformation, the 10-year-old effort to demolish most of the city’s public housing developments and replace them with mixed-income communities.

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