Early voting begins January 26

Early voting for the February municipal election begins Thursday, January 26 and can be done at the supersite at 191 N. Clark St. and the office of the Board of Election Commissioners, 69 W. Washington St., 6th Floor, from 9am–6pm on weekdays, 9am–5pm on Saturdays, and 10am–4pm on Sundays. The supersite will additionally be open on Election Day itself, which is Tuesday, February 28. Starting February 13, residents can also go to early voting sites located across all fifty wards, and can choose whichever site is most convenient for them—it doesn’t need to be in their ward. From February 22–24, voters can also go to Chicago State University, 9501 S. King Dr., Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis, and the University of Chicago, Reynolds Club, 1131 E. 57th St. The municipal election, which takes place every four years, will determine the next mayor, City Council, and the new police district council. Check out our coverage in the Election Issue that comes out February 6 and at southsideweekly.com to learn more about these races and the candidates. A full list of early voting locations can be found at chicagoelections.gov/en/early-voting.html

UIC faculty secure pay raises and resources for students after four-day strike

The faculty union at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) secured increased minimum salaries, annual raises, stronger job protections, and commitments for student resources after going on strike last week. The nearly 900 members of the UIC United Faculty (UICUF) union went on strike Tuesday after nine months of fruitless negotiations with administrators and working without a contract since August. At stake were the union’s demands for pay raises to match increased living costs, mental health support and learning disability assessments for students, and stronger job protections for non-tenure track faculty. The union suspended the strike after just four days and reached a tentative deal with administrators on Sunday, which guaranteed minimum salaries of $60,000 for non-tenure track and $70,000 for tenure-track faculty, equity adjustments to base salaries for faculty, and the demands listed above. In a statement, Nicole Nguyen, UICUF negotiator and associate professor of criminology, law, and justice, said, “The campus is thriving, but many faculty are not…We have spent the past three years scrambling to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, and our whole community—students and faculty—are exhausted. Management needs to invest in resources that strengthen our entire community.”

Street vendor robberies

Street vendors in Little Village, Pilsen, and Humboldt Park have experienced an increase in armed robberies since November 2022. These robberies, which have often put vendors in direct danger, have persisted into the new year. And yet, vendors continue to come out day after day to seek their livelihood and provide a vital service to their community. With many starting work at 4 am, some vendors have been pleading with the City and the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to provide police officers in the morning hours as a form of protection. But community members and organizers have been the ones to most reliably show up for them. When neighbors began looking for volunteers to watch over the vendors, a local chapter of Brown Beret members and other youth started waking up early to check on eloteras and tamaleras during their busiest hours. Local alderpersons and aldermanic candidates have held townhall meetings and press conferences to draw attention to the issue—many voters are paying close attention to their responses as they get ready to vote in February.

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