Fighting Chicago’s Asthma Problem

June 17th, 2009

Recorded May, 2009

Children in Chicago’s North Lawndale community are at a higher risk of getting asthma. According to the Sinai Urban Health Institute, one in four children in that neighborhood have asthma. That’s almost double city-wide and national averages.So what is it about North Lawndale that puts children at an increased risk? Who – or what – is to blame? And are kids in surrounding neighborhoods also at increased rick?
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Messy Clean-Up: Gov. Quinn’s First 12 Weeks

April 27th, 2009

Jerry Stermer

WNUA Broadcast Date: 4/24/09

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Is political transparency and budget reform possible in Illinois?
In the wake of former governor Rod Blagojevich’s scandal-plagued legacy – and George Ryan’s for that matter – newly installed Governor Pat Quinn advocates open and honest government and fiscal responsibility.
In the midst of a recession-plagued economy, the governor’s recent budget proposal includes a back-to-school sales tax holiday for parents, limits on campaign contributions and a job plan to put Illinoisans back to work.
But Governor Quinn also wants to raise our income tax 50 percent – which brings the current 3 percent income tax to 4.5 percent. He proposes to off-set the increase by hiking the personal exemption from $2,000 to $6,000.
Critics say Quinn’s plan won’t resolve the state’s deepening financial problems and that his talk of government transparency is just that – all talk and no action.This morning on “City Voices” we’ll talk about Governor Quinn’s budget proposal with his chief-of-staff, Jerry Stermer.

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?

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 »

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