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The Mechanics
« Kirk In; Conservative Support? A "Send Off," and Search for a Balanced Budget »

Springfield Mon Jul 13 2009

AP Cites Progress Illinois' Budget Impact Tracking

Progress Illinois' effort to track exactly how the budget debacle in Springfield is impacting Illinoisans--both in number of individuals left unserved and number of private sector employees laid off--has gained lots of attention, and deservedly so. This effort at crowd-sourcing may just become the next tool for activists of all ideological stripes to document exactly what the state is doing and how it impacts you locally.

Progress Illinois, a website supported by the Service Employees International Union, is trying to track cutbacks at the organizations that state government uses to deliver services at the local level. As of Friday, it reported, 68 agencies had cut at least 1,420 jobs and halted services for nearly 13,500 people.

It is extremely easy (and, as is often the case with extremely easy things, wildly irresponsible) to just flog the putrid "wasteful government spending" horse corpse to win votes and sound like a good government watchdog. So it's important to make direct connections for people about what exactly we spend our money on, and how the constant assault on public goods and public spending ends up not only harming the disadvantaged but also, in the medium and long term, all of us (well, except the extremely priveleged who are never harmed by anything). At the same time, I imagine such a project flipped backwards (as with Chicago City Payments) could be a valuable way to highlight government waste where it does occur.

 
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Feature

Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...

Civics

Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
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