Community News Project: Entre Nosotras

Entre Nosotras, a multimedia blog by Radio Arte, has been publishing posts on Latina youth artists, activists and issues since September, focusing on news from Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards, Bridgeport, and Brighton Park.  Portions have also appeared in Hoy and Extra, and several programs have been broadcast on WRTE.

Topics covered range widely. There’s an interview with a survivor of domestic violence, discussing her new-found freedom, and a piece with members of the Vida Fidei youth group discussing spirituality.  There are pieces on STDs and how fast food industry marketing targets young Latinos.

The series is produced by a team of young women from Radio Arte’s media training program, which gives the basics of journalism and radio production to hundreds of local youth each year.  Broadcast on 90.5 WRTE FM since 1997, Radio Arte is currently transitioning to digital broadcasting and programming; it will be one of the first Latino media centers in the nation.

Read more on this story at the Chicago Local Reporting Initiative – Community News Project page.

Community News Project: Austin Stiffed by TIF

coca-cola distribution warehouse austin neighborhood chicago

The Coca-Cola distribution warehouse in the Austin neighborhood in Chicago. Picture provided through Austintalks.org

With Mayor Emanuel’s TIF panel looking into the program’s effectiveness, AustinTalks examines its impact in a community with the seventh-highest unemployment rate in the nation – and finds it falling far short.

Only four TIF projects have been authorized for Austin; only one – relocation of a Coca Cola warehouse – has met the terms of its TIF agreement; and that project has employed just 28 people who live in or near Austin, according to a report by Ellyn Fortino.

More than half of the 200 TIF projects authorized since 2000 are located downtown (as Fortino and ChicagoTalks staff previously reported in the New York Times).  “Few if any projects can be found in Chicago’s most blighted communities on the West and South Sides,” Fortino writes in today’s report.  “And many of those projects haven’t been completed at all – if started.”

Of $22 million in TIF subsidies allocated for Austin, “only $1.4 million has been paid out – most of it for the Coca Cola distribution center,” Fortino reports.  That’s out of $1.2 billion citywide.

That project is “a prime example of how low-income neighborhoods in TIF districts don’t get what they deserve,” with property taxes diverted from public services to benefit big corporations, one activist tells AustinTalks. It’s “legalized corruption,” says Dwayne Truss of the South Austin Coalition.

Read more on this story at the Chicago Local Reporting Initiative – Community News Project page.

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