Group Carols to Save Mental Health Clinics


Protesters who want to avert cuts to the city’s mental health clinics tried a unique tactic this week.

As the City Council convened their first session since voting to close half of the city’s clinics and privatize all of its neighborhood health centers, members of the Mental Health Movement wore Santa Claus hats and formed a circle in the hallway outside the elected officials’ offices at City Hall, then sung altered classic holiday songs.

In their rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Jingle Bells,” and the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” they accused Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city officials of catering to “corporate greed,” and giving “tax breaks” to the wealthy while closing clinics in poor African American and Hispanic communities “without shame.”
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$1 Billion for CTA


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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New Grocery Stores to Open in Food Deserts


First lady Michelle Obama attended a press conference today, where Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that four grocery chains will open 17 new stores in communities the mayor described as “food deserts,” neighborhoods with a shortage of available fresh food.

White House photo of First Lay Michelle Obama.

Supervalu Inc. plans to open a new Sav-A-Lot store by the end of the year in North Lawndale, and is working on new Sav-A-Lot stores in the Grand Boulevard, Austin, Near West Side, West Pullman, Morgan Park, Calumet Heights, West Englewood and Englewood communities, according to a press release from the mayor’s office. Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc. plans to build three new Mariano’s Fresh Markets stores in Bronzeville, South Chicago and Forest Glenn; Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is slated to build three new stores on the south and southwest sides; and Aldi’s plans to build a store in Roseland.

Marianos' website photo of fresh fruits and vegatables.

In addition to these stores, Emanuel also announced that one of Chicago’s urban farm networks, Growing Power, has signed an agreement with Walgreens Co. and Aldi’s to produce jobs and economic development at farm sites in the city.

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Mayor Emanuel Booed at Budget Town Hall


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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Residents’ Journal Publisher on WBEZ


Earlier today, We The People Media Executive Director Ethan Michaeli, who is also the publisher of the Residents’ Journal, was on Chicago Public Radio’s “848”program discussing new Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s vision – or lack thereof – for the always-turbulent Chicago Housing Authority. You can listen to that segment by clicking here: “Chicago Housing Authority residents await permanent leadership.”

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