Governor Pat Quinn – Chicago Newstips by Community Media Workshop Chicago Community Stories Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:45:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Push for action on health reform Fri, 14 Oct 2011 21:30:44 +0000 Governor Quinn and legislators will join community leaders from across the area at a rally to push the state legislature to create a health insurance exchange to prepare for health reform’s rollout.

The rally takes place Sunday, October 16 at 3 p.m. at Temple Sholom, 3480 N. Lake Shore Drive.

Unless the legislature acts this year to set up an exchange, the state could lose more than $90 million in federal early startup grants under the Affordable Care Act, said Tom Lenz of United Power for Action and Justice, a regional network of congregations and community organizations that’s sponsoring the rally.

A legislative commission recently issued a report summarizing options for the exchange, but punted on making recommendations on how the exchange should be run.

Ultimately United Power wants to see an exchange empowered to negotiate with insurers to bring down prices for small businesses and individuals, Lenz said.  But for now, the important thing is to get the exchange up and running, he said.

The group recently surveyed 600 members and reports two-thirds of them believe “the Illinois health insurance marketplace is broken.”

According to a report, half of respondents said they’d experienced large increases in premium costs, a third said they’d had large deductible hikes, and a quarter said they’d lost coverage entirely.

At the rally, leaders from Lakeview Action Coalition will discuss the need for strong charity care policies to ensure that hospitals to assist those lacking coverage.

Youth call for jobs program to curb violence Tue, 12 Jul 2011 21:52:58 +0000 While young people at loose ends roam Chicago’s streets, some of them causing trouble, elected officials continue to do little about crisis-level youth unemployment.

Nearly 100 Chicago area youth calling for funding for a summer jobs program were turned away today after they announced plans for a 24-hour sit-in at the Thompson Center to demand an emergency meeting with Governor Quinn.

State Police said they wouldn’t be allowed to spend the night at the state building, and youth leaders decided to deliver their letter to the governor and adjourn to plan further action, said J. Brian Malone, a youth organizer with the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization.

Last year, a similar action by a citywide coalition of community youth groups had somewhat better luck.  They won a meeting with the governor’s office, and Governor Quinn agreed to sign a summer youth jobs bill.

Since then, however, despite repeated assurances, no funds have been appropriated for the program, Malone said.

KOCO and other groups have been working together on the issue for several years, and “early on, young people made a direct correlation between community violence and the lack of structured activities.,” said Malone.  “If young people can make the connection, why can’t the governor and the legislature?”

Funding for youth employment has steadily dried up – and violence has fairly steadily increased – since the 1990s.  Today youth unemployment is at record levels; a 2008 study found three-fourths of Chicago youth unemployed, including an astonishing 85 percent of black youth. (More here.)

“Youth development and youth employment is just not a priority,” said Malone.  “There’s no interest in our young people.”

And from Roseland to the Magnificent Mile, we’re reaping what we sow.