Find The Daily Line Guest Commentaries Below

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    One of the most important responsibilities of any state in the union is public education.  In Illinois, the state constitution spells this out, and indeed, about 26% of the General Revenue Fund flows to the public elementary and secondary schools in every town.  In turn, those public schools must serve every child, whatever religion their family practices, whatever language is spoken in the home, or whether their family is headed by parents of the same gender.  The public schools must accommodate any disability that affects learning, and help all students achieve their potential.

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    We were all horrified when a man opened fire at the Highland Park Independence Day parade, killing seven people and injuring dozens more.

    But more than four months later, the Illinois General Assembly gaveled in and out of their first week back in Springfield after the election — and no action was taken to ban these weapons of war from our streets. 

    Meanwhile, Illinois leads the nation in the number of people killed or injured in mass shootings, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive this year. Number one.

    That’s wholly unacceptable. 

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    If you have the pleasure of visiting the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago, you will experience a historical neighborhood of Mexican art, culture, family-owned businesses, and a vibrant social scene for young adults. The people in Pilsen know that what benefits one of us benefits us all. At the Economic Strategies Development Corporation (ESDC), we are dedicated to creating and supporting economic vitality through education initiatives and support for local businesses. We are all integral parts of our community, our economy, and our society. We are in it together.

    This community mindset comes with a deep appreciation for programs like Medicaid managed care, that serve so many in Pilsen and the surrounding communities. Medicaid managed care provides its enrollees, many of whom come from traditionally underserved communities, with all the tools someone needs to get and stay healthy. These benefits include but are not limited to full coverage for primary care, dental and vision, and preventative services.

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    There is a new wave of job openings here in the Midwest and across the country. These jobs immerse you in a high-tech environment where you can earn a great living, do something different every day, build a future and make people’s lives better. We’re talking about the modern manufacturing industry, where our job descriptions say: “Creators Wanted.”

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    From inventing barbed wire to the cell phone, Illinois has always been home to innovation. Today, renewable energy is leading the state into a new era of advancement. The transition to renewable energy is in full swing, and Illinois is at the forefront of its incredible benefits. As we concluded the second annual American Clean Power Week, let us celebrate Illinois’ economic progress through clean energy leadership that has widened the lens of the industry’s impact.

    As Co-Founder and CEO at Solstice, I have the pleasure of seeing the benefits of clean energy development every day. Illinois has grown into a renewable energy powerhouse increasing job creation and local economic investment. According to the American Clean Power Association (ACP), the renewable energy industry supports...

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    Like most of America, Illinois is adversely impacted by a significant shortage of housing. The Chicagoland region alone requires tens of thousands of new apartments to satisfy our anticipated housing demand. The Chicagoland Apartment Association (CAA) recognizes an immediate need for the state legislature to continue developing strategies aimed at a balanced housing approach – policies that will encourage the construction of an additional supply of market-rate, affordable, and workforce housing.

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    The COVID-19 pandemic brought on unprecedented hardships for restaurant owners and employees, resulting in shuttered restaurants, job losses, and shattered dreams for countless owners and industry employees. I am lucky that Yolk, the restaurant I work for, did not suffer a similar fate.

    This is certainly not to say we didn’t face our own set of challenges or were able to get through these difficult years unscathed. Like so many others, when the pandemic began and we were forced to shut our doors to indoor dining, we had to make the devastating decision to lay off hundreds of employees across our locations and even permanently closed two of our locations altogether here in Chicago.

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    A bitter battle over Chicago's ward remap has been front and center in the news lately, portrayed by the media as a power struggle between the Black and Latino caucuses. But nobody has started talking about the 20 brand-new Chicago school board districts that legislators will soon need to create. 

    Drawing a whole new map of school board districts is a complicated process that ought to be considered carefully. For starters, we need to talk about race and fair representation without allowing the conversation to be mischaracterized as a battle of Black vs. Brown. The racial demographics of Chicago are very different from those of the CPS student body: Chicago is almost one-third white, while CPS is 90% children of color.

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    Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois followed a “Restore Illinois” model ranging from “Phase 1: Rapid Spread” to “Phase 5: Illinois Restored.” Illinois has already achieved Phase 5, and we are looking forward to our future beyond this pandemic. However, as we turn from the past two years our view of the future is obstructed by a mirror. In its reflection are the side effects of the past two years of COVID-19 mitigations and our eyes adjust to reveal the realities staring back at us. They are difficult to stomach.

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    The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) has been handling a steady stream of calls from frustrated gas customers wondering why they’re on the hook to pay hundreds of dollars more to heat their homes—and Chicago is the epicenter of this heating-affordability crisis.