The New Face of Poverty

April 6th, 2009

WNUA Broadcast Date: March 17, 2009

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Illinois’ unemployment rate is hovering close to 8 percent.  The national unemployment rate is already there.
Foreclosures are spreading into affluent communities, even suburbia.   Lay-offs happen weekly.  And as the recently jobless white-collar workers come to depend on the state for basic needs, America’s understanding of poverty is changing.
Now, more than ever before, the middle-class – and even some upper-income families – are the new faces of poverty.  And some of these families are not yet eligible for unemployment benefits.
So is Illinois, with its ever-deepening deficit, prepared to take on the growing number of needy residents?  And how will our new governor’s policies help or hurt the needy?

Northside Foreclosure Crisis

March 30th, 2009

Geoff Smith, Vice President of the Woodstock Institute and Attorney Dan Lindsey of the Legal Assistance Foundation.

WNUA Broadcast Date March 22, 2009.
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For those who live on the northside of Chicago – and even out in the suburbs – the housing crisis was something we only read about.  It was only affecting our south and west side neighbors.But as the recession worsens, and job-losses spread into every sector of the economy, northside communities are now seeing their homes foreclosed as well.  Middle-lass neighborhoods like Rodgers Park, Lincoln Square – even Lakeview – have seen sharp increases in forclosures since 2006.So what exactly does this mean?  Is this a sign that the recession is finally ‘bottoming out’ like experts said it would?  Or is it a sign that our economy is getting worse – if that’s possible?  And what are the new challenges organizations face as they shift gears and help a new group citizens?

The Future of Labor Organizing

January 27th, 2009

Republic Windows and Doors Labor organizers

Recorded January 13th, 2009. WNUA Broadcast Date: Sunday, January 25, 2009 
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The December 2008  Republic Windows and Doors sit-in was a major victory for labor organizers, local union members and their families.When the factory abruptly closed its doors, some 200 workers were left with unpaid vacation time and no severance package. Workers staged a six-day sit-in that not only garnered local media attention — even that of president-elect Barack Obama at the time — but also captivated labor activists across the country who’d not seen a factory sit-in successfully employed for years! Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Jobs

July 18th, 2008

Recorded June, 2008
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For teens, summer vacation used to mean hanging out with friends, finding that summer job and making extra money. But today, with cuts in federal funding for jobs and rising unemployment rates, more and more young people cannot find that badly needed summer job.In Chicago, the prevalence of gangs and street violence makes finding summer employment all the more important. Especially in low-income communities where jobs are scarce, some young people turn to drug dealing.

Local community groups are getting the word out to Springfield that youth employment initiatives need funding. In the past, youth employment programs led to future year-round positions and even made some drop-outs return to school.

On this episode of “City Voices,” we’ll hear from an organizer for youth employment, Jack Wuest from Alternative Schools Network.

Community Media Workshop
at Columbia College
600 S. Michigan Ave.
tel: 312-369-6400
fax: 312-369-6404


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