West Side residents flood the polls with hopes of mental health and labor reform

Despite predictions that President Trump’s controversial performance would be the primary incentive driving voters to cast their ballots this midterm, residents of Austin kept it local. At polls across the neighborhood, voters cited the need for more mental health services and workers rights as their motivation to show up.

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In an effort to protect unions and raise wages, Fight For $15 mobilizes workers to vote in Illinois’ gubernatorial elections

In the month leading up to the election, Shantonia Jackson along with other members of the national grassroots movement Fight for 15 and the labor union SEIU have knocked on thousands of fellow workers’ doors in a push to convince new or reluctant voters to head to the polls.

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Ahead of midterm elections, Chicago students look to Parkland activists

Chicago high school students Clare Gorey and Edie Browne are too young to vote in the midterm elections, but they are involved, motivated in part by the national campaign around gun violence. On Oct. 26, they were among students hearing from March For Our Lives founders Delaney Tarr, Sarah Chadwick and Jammal Lemy, who presented the group’s book, Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement at Nicholas Senn High School.

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Mexico City-born artist Amanda Gutiérrez uses sound to address gentrification

The screech of a train, the ring of paleta-cart bells and the chatter of children—these sounds define Pilsen in the summer. And artist Amanda Gutiérrez is listening to every sound the neighborhood has to offer. She has called Pilsen, a neighborhood on the Southwest Side of Chicago, home for over 15 years. “I feel very emotionally and historically attached to this neighborhood,” she said.

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From Emmett Till to Laquan McDonald, this is America, and this is Chicago

Dr. Ponni Arunkumar, Cook County’s chief medical examiner, testified on September 19 in the murder trial of Jason Van Dyke, the white Chicago police officer who killed Laquan McDonald, a Black teenager, on October 20, 2014. This case is the most recent high-profile entry in Chicago’s — and America’s — history of white people perpetuating violence against Black people, a history that this case cannot escape.

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Hamilton House creates a new kind of family in Chicago’s South Shore community

Since the mid-1970s, Gerald Hamilton, a retired homicide detective, has been a foster parent for over 100 kids and teenagers of different ethnicities and backgrounds, most of them young men. Some people assume that foster parents are in it for the money or don’t know how to deal with the often troubling behavior of the children they take in. Hamilton challenges these misconceptions by intentionally seeking out kids who need more support and treating them no differently than his biological children.

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