Employment Opportunities Among Solutions for Gentrifying Neighborhoods

We wrote a while back about the Gentrification Index from the Nathalie P. Voorhees Center at UIC. The index compares socioeconomic change across Chicago's neighborhoods over the past 40 years. It's worth checking out. The supplement to that index, Gentrification & Neighborhood Change: Helpful Tools for Communities, came out earlier this year. This toolkit offers practical steps that neighborhoods can [...]

New Transitional Jobs Research On the Way

Large-scale subsidized employment strategies have been around in the United States for the better part of a century. The Works Progress Administration and other New Deal programs were the first, employing millions of Americans during the Great Depression. Where New Deal programs were designed to counter high unemployment levels on a large scale, most of [...]

Trickle-Down Only Brings Us Down

Trickle-down economics fails working-class Americans, and we have the experiences to show it. Last month, The Center for American Progress analyzed wage data from the past 50 years, pointing out that since 1981, the income growth of the top 1% has failed to stimulate wage increases for the bottom 90%. In other words--the wealth is not trickling down. In the [...]

Illinois is Already a Top Business Creator

Governor Rauner is holding the state budget hostage in order to pass reforms that he believes will make it cheaper to do business in Illinois. The collateral damage will be tremendous if a budget deal is not reached before the fiscal year begins on July 1. This is a destructive way to solve a problem that does not [...]

Infographic: Driver’s Licenses and the Long Road to Work

This infographic is the latest in our coverage of driver’s license suspension as a major barrier to employment and burden on the poor. For more, see last week’s post “Suspended Indefinitely: Driver’s Licenses and the Long Road to Work.” […]

Suspended Indefinitely: Driver’s Licenses and the Long Road to Work

(Article Updated: Kelvin succeeded in re obtaining his license in 2015.) Last month, we wrote that driver’s license suspensions unfairly penalize the poor. Without the money to get it back, a suspended license creates tremendous barriers for those trying to earn a living.  Kelvin Anderson, a Retention Assistant at Growing Home, Inc, shared his story with [...]

Getting Local With Affordable Housing Data

In Chicago's 24th ward, largely covering the North Lawndale neighborhood, 73.7% of renting households spend over 30% of their income on rent. That figure, from 2010, used to be 29.0% in 2000. (This compares to 52.6% statewide in the same period.((U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey))) This is one topic covered by the Housing Fact [...]

License Suspension Unfairly Penalizes the Poor

In January, NPR profiled how driver’s license suspensions unfairly “tax” the poor. NPR cited a study by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators that found nationally, “About 40 percent of [driver's license] suspensions are for unpaid traffic tickets, and for things like not paying child support, or getting caught with drugs — things that [...]

There’s an App for Those Benefits

Chicago is a hot spot for open data and civic hacking. Programmers and engaged citizens in the area spend a lot of time trying to innovate our experience of government services and information. One product of these efforts is mRelief, which is a basic tool to evaluate whether or not someone may qualify for benefits from the City of [...]

Be InspWIREd!

We don't mean to brag, but it's not just the WIRE we're excited about. Today, a coalition of workforce organizations in the Atlanta area celebrated the launch of their new data portal: The Metro Atlanta eXchange for Workforce Solutions (MAX). Similar to the WIRE, MAX has a provider directory, which went online with over 500 service sites in the [...]