How Poor We’ve Become

We talk about hard times and many more just getting by.

How many exactly?

There are 380,000 families in Illinois, where someone works full-time during the entire year and yet the family is considered poor.

That’s a fact that gives context to understanding why low wage jobs matter. A fact that can help drive our reporting on poverty and the many drives to boost workers’ wage.

But who are these poor? And what marks them diferently today from years before?

You can turn to the latest report on poverty in Illinois from the Heartland Alliance’s Social Impact Research Center to answer these questions. Their latest report is available, Thursday, Jan. 29th

The folks from the Social Impact Center will be on hand for our Feb. 11th forum on low wage workers and the new labor drives to help you get facts like these and search for those you need.

One reason we’re holding this forum is an unprecedented concern about low wage workers, and unparalleled efforts on their behalf here.

Besides a panel discussion led from folks representing an array of groups, we’ll be hearing later from nearly two dozen groups who are engaged somehow in efforts to drive up the conditions and wages for low wage workers. We call it speed interviewing. It’s your chance to meet and learn from these people face to face.

We meet at 618 S. Michigan Ave., Stage Two, Columbia College, Chicago, starting at 6 pm on the Feb. 11.

Talk of numbers you might want to know, here’s report from Good Jobs First about how much information states make public on the impact of their state subsidies. Amid all of its woes, Illinois comes out first on this list, in terms on offering details about its subsidies. It’s worth digging in if you are serious about understanding what’s happening to jobs here.

And here’s a press conference Thursday, Jan.30th on the minimum wage drive in Chicago.


Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10am – 10:45am

Chicago Temple, 1st floor Sanctuary

77 West Washington St, Chicago, Illinois 60602


Chicago Aldermen, along with low-wage workers and community groups, will hold a press event to endorse the city referendums slated for the March 18th primary ballots asking voters whether major corporations and businesses that made over $50 million in the previous tax year should be required to pay workers a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

talk to me, digame, 312 369 6400




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