Chinatown | Education | Englewood | Politics

A New High School for Englewood

Emanuel announces major investment following skepticism and debate about location

Jasmin Liang

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) revealed late last year in their 2017 capital plan that a new seventy-five million dollar high school would be coming to the South Side. Initially, CPS did not release the location of the new high school, and several neighborhoods, such as Chinatown and Englewood, had been organizing and campaigning to be involved in the decision-making process.

Education | Politics

An Existing Problem Made Much Worse

A new report tracks Illinois’s longtime disinvestment in higher education

This graph shows the decrease in state funding for five public universities in Illinois between the 2015 and 2017 fiscal years. Funding this year went up from last year, but still remained well below funding from 2015, the last year Illinois had a comprehensive General Fund budget (Ellen Hao)

Illinois’s public universities are facing a virtually insurmountable funding crisis. According to a report recently published by the nonpartisan Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (CTBA), higher education in Illinois suffered a 67.8 percent cut in its allocations from fiscal year 2015 to fiscal year 2016, receiving approximately one-third of the recommended budget proposed by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). Because of the state legislature’s failure to approve a complete budget for higher education, public universities operated on the minimal funding from the $627 million stopgap budget, a short-term budget that appropriated a small amount for expenditures in higher education through January 2017.

Housing | Politics

Restoring a Political Leader’s Home

Preservation project announced for former home of South Side congressman and alderman Oscar De Priest

Courtesy of Landmarks Illinois

On January 12, the National Park Service (NPS) granted funding for preservation projects on thirty-nine African American and Civil Rights landmarks across the United States. The African American Civil Rights Grant Program was approved by Congress in 2016 through the Historic Preservation fund, which uses “revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to provided assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expanding tax dollars,” according to the NPS. Spread over twenty states, the grants cover the restoration, preservation, and education costs of landmarks such as the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Alabama, which was bombed by white supremacists during the Civil Rights Movement, and Central High in Little Rock, Arkansas, one of the first schools to undergo forced desegregation after Brown v. Board of Education.

Health care | Politics | Visual Arts

The Stone Soup Dance

As funding for disability programming comes under threat, service providers get smarter

Monika Neuland teaches a class at the Rose Center. Neuland manages large amounts of donations to cope in a chronically underfunded human services sector. (Jason Schumer)

The back room of Envision Unlimited’s Rose Center, in Back of the Yards, is piled to the proverbial ceiling with arts and crafts materials: boxes of old lace, a package of sequined hats, a children’s doll whose head had, at some point in its transport, become decapitated from its body. Sorting through it all is Monika Neuland, a social practice artist, educator, and consultant who works with agencies that provide services for those with physical and developmental disabilities. Envision Unlimited, the organization which owns the Rose Center, is one of these. The arts supplies are a donation that will help sustain the various arts programs that Neuland leads around the Chicago area, including the mask-making workshop taking place here in the Rose Center.

Politics

Illinois Lottery Exacerbates Inequities in Chicago

Communities on the South and West Side buy disproportionately more lottery tickets but do not see returns to their schools

Ellen Hao

Every year, the Illinois State Lottery contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to help fund public education in Illinois, but areas with high lottery sales often also have school districts that remain severely underfunded.

Education | Politics

Universities Get Political

Chicago’s universities respond to Trump’s immigration policies

Jasmin Liang

Donald Trump’s aggressive immigration policies have upended the lives of people around the world, and if his administration follows through on promises made on the campaign trail, the futures of both documented and undocumented immigrants in the U.S. may face additional threats in the years to come. As a result, American universities and their communities, which rely on student talent from all over the world, are among the institutions that stand to lose because of Trump’s policies. In Chicago, many universities and colleges are taking steps to respond to these policies.

Politics

Four Challengers for the Fourth Ward

Despite a crowded field, Sophia King remains the favorite to win the Fourth Ward’s aldermanic election

Total contributions received so far by each candidate; 1 head = ~$10,000 (Ellen Hao)

I’m sitting across from Reverend Gregory Livingston, candidate for alderman of the Fourth Ward, in his office on Cottage Grove Avenue and 43rd Street. We’re talking about accessibility and transparency in ward politics. “I love this quote by Voltaire,” says Livingston, fishing through his phone for the precise wording. “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

Bronzeville | Development | Features | Housing | Politics

Redeveloping the State Street Corridor

After the high-rises came down, the CHA pledged to rebuild thousands of units of public housing in Bronzeville. But more than a decade later, construction is behind schedule and below expectations.

Patricia Evans

This investigation is the first in a series of projects that will document and explore public housing on the South Side. If you have tips or suggestions about coverage, email editor@southsideweekly.com.

Police | Politics

Questions Without Answers

In a tense public meeting, the young women of Youth for Black Lives question Superintendent Eddie Johnson

J. Michael Eugenio

Mere steps away from this newspaper’s office on Tuesday, January 17, the first of what is supposed to be a series of monthly meetings between leaders of Youth for Black Lives (YBL, formerly Black Lives Matter Youth) and Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie Johnson took place.

Activism | Politics

Chicago to Trump: Expect Resistance

Camelia Malkami

On Saturday, an estimated 250,000 Chicagoans joined over two million people around the world to march in favor of women’s rights and in opposition to the Trump administration. The march was officially called off and converted into a rally because of unexpectedly high turnout, but that didn’t stop the Chicago crowd, who spilled out from Grant Park and crowded the streets of the Loop, chanting all the while. Drawing large crowds new to activism, the march generated excitement about the beginnings of a mass social movement opposing the Trump administration. However, the march drew criticism from some veteran activists because of messaging that excluded trans women by equating womanhood with biology. These critics expressed hope that the large numbers of white women who marched would continue to show up beyond Saturday’s rally. The Chicago march’s speakers and performers indicated what this might look like, advocating for causes from immigrants’ rights to reproductive rights to the Fight for 15 campaign to Black Lives Matter. The list included many organizations and performers from the South Side. The Weekly contacted South Side performers, speakers, and participants to get their reflections on being part of the march.