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We The People Media In The News

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

I was honored to appear on the CAN TV show “Chicago Newsroom” this week with the intrepid Angela Caputo from the Chicago Reporter. We talked about Hillary Clinton’s likely presidential campaign, assessed Mayor Rahm’s performance and drilled down to housing in Chicago neighborhoods. Click above to check it out.

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Inside the Teachers Strike

by Mary C. Piemonte 

cialis onlinehttp://wethepeoplemedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Mary-9-10-12-Teachers-Robeson-HS-300×225.jpg” alt=”" width=”400″ height=”300″ /> Teachers at Paul Robeson High School protest on the first day of the Chicago Teachers Union strike Monday, September 10. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

Interviewed on the first day of the Chicago Teachers Union’s first strike in a quarter-century, Ron James, a history teacher at Hyde Park Career Academy, said he was out picketing because “We need to be out here.”

“I’m a teacher with a classroom full of kids that don’t have enough books,” James added. “We don’t have enough desks. Our kids are sitting around in chairs sharing books as I’m trying to teach them. I do the best with what I have and you want to cut what I have already. It’s asinine.

“We’re out here fighting not just for ourselves but for our brothers at the police department, the fire department and all other public workers.”

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CHA’s New Plan?

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

Click here to listen to We The People Media’s Executive Director Ethan Michaeli on WBEZ Chicago Public Radio’s new hit show “The Afternoon Shift” with Steve Edwards talking about the Chicago Housing Authority’s efforts to revise its Plan for Transformation. Ethan and Steve examine the pitfalls as well as the opportunities of creating a new paradigm for public housing for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City of Chicago. Ethan speaks during the second hour of the program.

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$1 Billion for CTA

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Gov. Pat Quinn talks to reporters about his efforts to create jobs with infrastructure improvements as CTA President Forrest Claypool looks on during a press conference on renovating the Red and Purple ‘El’ public transit stations on Nov. 3, 2011.. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte


Two of the Chicago Transit Authority’s busiest train line stations will be improved and rebuilt, according to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The two announced today during a press conference at the 35th Street Red Line ‘El’ station that “slow zones” will be eliminated, systems will be upgraded, and tracks will be repaired on the Red and Purple train lines.

Quinn said during the press conference that this $1 billion “state capital investment” plan from a combination of state, local and federal funds would also create 2,700 jobs.

“Jobs that you can support a family on, construction jobs, good jobs,” he added.
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Mayor Emanuel Booed at Budget Town Hall

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel tries to calm audience members who booed him at a town hall meeting on the City's budget at Kennedy King College on August 30, 2011. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was jeered and booed by many of the people who arrived early at Kennedy King College on August 30, 2011, in hopes of getting their concerns heard and addressed at the first of two public town hall meeting on the city’s budget.

Upon arrival, people learned that they had to fill out questionnaire cards rather than speak directly to the mayor. In a display of sheer disappointment, several people in the crowded main auditorium began loudly complaining about how they were denied the opportunity to speak, while the mayor attempted to answer some of the handwritten questions, which were read to him by Cheryl Hyman, the chancellor of the City Colleges, instead of the people who actually wrote the questions on the cards. Read more »

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Commissioner Fails to Show at Mental Health Town Hall Meeting

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Community activist Lonnie Richardson discusses the need for mental health services for young people at a town hall on Aug. 5. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

Dozens of people concerned with the state of the city’s mental health services, who packed a community meeting this week, were disappointed when the city public health commissioner did not show up.

N’Dana Carter, a member of the Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP) community human rights organization, who was moderating the event at Mercy Hospital’s Joyce Auditorium, 2525 S. Michigan Ave., on the evening of August 5 told the audience that Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Bechara Choucair called and cancelled two hours before the meeting began.

“Our fearless leader Dr. Choucair…called at 3:30 p.m. to cancel. He will not be here,” declared Carter, a consumer at the Greater Grand/Mid-South Mental Health facility at 4314 S. Cottage Grove.

“Dr. Choucair didn’t make the meeting tonight, because he felt that we were going to ambush him. And he was afraid. He was afraid because the citizens of the city of Chicago and our visitors want the mental health clinics, and they don’t want privatization of any of the health clinics,” she added.

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Mayor Continues Search for New CHA Head

by Mary C. Piemonte 

Tenants from the Julia C. Lathrop Homes public housing complex on the North Side object to CHA's plans for their development during a recent CHA Board meeting in March. The new CHA CEO will have to decide Lathrop Homes' future. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is still searching for the right person to head the Chicago Housing Authority.

Previous CHA CEO Lewis Jordan resigned his position two months ago after questions were raised about his and other CHA employees’ use of government-issued credit cards.

Former CHA board member Carlos Ponce is serving as interim CEO and overseeing the controversial effort to demolish or rehab all of its family and senior housing stock that officially began in January 2000.

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We The People Media’s Coverage of the Chicago Mayor’s Race

by Ethan Michaeli, Publisher 

Dear Friends:

In the next few hours, voters in Chicago will decide on a new mayor as well as the City Council and other citywide offices. Among the issues the successor to Mayor Richard M. Daley will face will be the housing crisis for the city’s poor. Last year, when the Chicago Housing Authority opened its waiting list for the first time in years, more than 200,000 families registered for just 40,000 slots – on the waiting list. The new Mayor will have to decide how to fulfill his predecessor’s pledge to rebuild mixed-income communities on the sites where the infamous high-rises once stood.

Since the beginning of the mayoral race, We The People Media has covered the contest from the perspective of those who see Chicago’s low-income families as an underutilized resource. As you make your decision, we offer you an easy way to read all of our articles and videos. These reports include exclusive interviews and comments with the candidates.

Please don’t hesitate to write to us and let us know what you think – about our reports as well as about the mayor’s race itself!

Click here to read all of our coverage of the Mayor’s race, beginning with our first pieces in December:

http://wethepeoplemedia.org/tag/chicago-mayoral-candidates/

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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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Emanuel Removed From Ballot, Candidates’ Education Plans

by Mary C. Piemonte 

The Illinois Appellate Court threw Chicago’s mayoral election into chaos Monday when it said that Rahm Emanuel, until recently President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, did not meet the requirement for residency in Chicago and therefore could not run in the February contest. Emanuel has vowed to appeal the ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Emanuel was ahead of his rivals in terms of fund-raising and in some polls of the race, so his departure from the field would make the campaign difficult to predict.

Today’s development makes the plans of Emanuel’s rivals suddenly more important. Last month, several mayoral candidates – excluding Emanuel – outlined their plans for the Chicago Public Schools system during the Forum on Education at Walter Payton College Prep High School.

Chicago Mayoral candidate Miguel De Valle, talking about more recess time for kids as part of his education plans for the city, if elected mayor. Looking on are his rivals, Gery Chico and Carol Moseley Braun, during the Mayoral Forum on Education at Walter Payton High School on December 15, 2010. Photo by Mary C. Johns

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