To Chicago hotel workers on strike, year-round health insurance is essential

As business slows at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel every winter, Chiquitta Rivers, 26, a house attendant, is laid off and loses her health insurance. Rivers lives with diabetes and being uninsured makes obtaining medicine difficult. “When I get laid off, I don’t have health insurance and I can’t take my insulin,” she said. “I can’t see my endocrinologist. It is really hard for me to [pay] out of pocket for my medicine, especially if I’m not working.” On Sept. 7, she went on strike with hotel workers across Chicago, demanding year-round health insurance, healthier work conditions and increased wages.

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Forging a new “Kultur”? A peek inside G.L.A.M. Day presented by The Beautiful Seed Foundation for Young Women of Color

Entrepreneur Crystal Watts recently partnered with The Beautiful Seed Foundation for Young Women of Color (BSF) to host a fashion show during their G.L.A.M. Day (GLAM) event. BSF is a Chicago-based non-profit organization designed to “help young women of color between the ages of 12 to 23 recognize their greatness, utilize their gifts and impact the world.”

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Cab drivers group drafts proposal to ‘level the playing field’ and regulate ride-shares in Chicago

The influx of ride-shares like Lyft and Uber is to blame for the taxi industry’s financial decline, says the United Taxi Drivers Community Council (UTCC), an organization advocating for the rights of taxi drivers in Chicago. Determined to curb these companies’ seismic impact on the livelihood of taxi drivers, the group is calling on the city to level the playing field by increasing regulations on ride-shares.

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Police-reform advocates, Chicago residents say police should document gun-pointing incidents

The Chicago family of Gilbert, Hester, Peter and Jack Mendez have filed a legal complaint in federal court, alleging that Chicago police pointed guns at the children and their parents in a raid of the wrong apartment in November 2017, causing the children severe emotional and psychological trauma. The lawsuit comes as consent decree negotiations to reform the Chicago Police Department are reaching their final stages.

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Puerto Rican views on new statehood bill reflect differing positions in the Island’s diaspora

Statehood has been a contentious topic for Puerto Rico and its diaspora for decades. The debate about whether or not “the Island”–as many Puerto Ricans refer to it–should become the 51st state has seemingly intensified since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico last fall. On June 27, U.S. Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón (R) filed a bill that would make Puerto Rico a state by 2021. The bill has received bipartisan support in Congress. The current governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, who ran on a pro-statehood platform, called statehood a “civil rights” issue for the people of Puerto Rico.

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Art is a crucial form of resistance and healing for Palestinians, says local artist

The trauma she experienced during the Second Intifada continues to haunt Mary Hazboun, a 34-year-old Palestinian artist and folk singer from Bethlehem. She’s now channelled some of her pain into an art project titled “The Art of Weeping.”

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