Melissa makes syrups for a living. That's her job -- boiling and bottling up to 500 syrup bottles a week. She's good at it. Really good at it.
Illinois legislators and civil rights organizations have started strategizing on moving from civil unions to full marriage equality for LGBT couples. But with well-organized and well-funded opposition like the Catholic Church, this will be difficult.
This past holiday season, the Illinois General Assembly gave a giant present to some big corporations while most families across the state struggled just to get through another challenging year.
We have made progress in Illinois. After decades of hard work, Illinois finally passed civil unions last year and took a step in the right direction. But civil unions are not marriage.
Between a rock and a hard place is where you can work full time and still be in poverty (like 100,000 Illinoisans). It's where you can look for a job for 37 weeks -- almost 10 months -- and still not find one (that's the average here).
In a big reversal from the Illinois Department of Revenue, couples who have entered into civil unions will be able to jointly file their 2011 state tax returns.
In a blatant disregard of regulatory guidelines, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has quietly entangled itself in an inane and potentially deadly coal slurry scandal.
If Speaker Madigan does nothing on pensions and fiscal reform, the history of his political career is already written: three decades of power as the State of Illinois declined.
While much ado has been made about this law, I can tell you that it means the difference between life and death for millions who are currently sick, but unable to afford care.
This year Chicago-area organizations have made impressive breakthroughs on seemingly intractable issues. As Thanksgiving nears, let's take time to be thankful for the progress we've made in 2011.
She told me I would never escape the label of a battered woman. We hung up that afternoon and never spoke again.
The Commissioners are now more interested in maintaining their institution and their positions on the Commission than truly advancing the cause.
As thousands of undocumented immigrant students in California and Illinois enter and return to college this fall, they will have new hope about their futures because of legislation providing them access to privately-funded college tuition assistance.
Every day LGBT people around the country are forced into hostile situations with religious organizations providing public services or worse turned away from getting these tax-payer funded services altogether.
Every day, as I talk to people in the 39th District, I'm reminded that we all share the same concerns about the way things look these days. It's those shared concerns that I will advocate for every day.
Latino-Americans can no longer afford to let other people vote for them. We cannot sit back and watch things happen to America, when we have the votes to achieve a better outcome for the nation.