WBEZ | Magnificent Mile http://www.wbez.org/tags/magnificent-mile Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Fast food and retail workers march on the Magnificent Mile http://www.wbez.org/news/fast-food-and-retail-workers-march-magnificent-mile-104377 <p><p>A worker advocacy group is asking downtown businesses to pay their employees at least $15 an hour.</p><p>Over 100 people marched on Chicago&rsquo;s Magnificent Mile Thursday to protest low wages for retail and fast food workers as a part of the&nbsp;<a href="http://fightfor15.org/2012/12/07/growing-and-standing-together/" target="_blank">Fight For 15 Campaign</a>, a new project of the&nbsp;Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago.</p><p>&ldquo;I literally live paycheck to paycheck, like right now I have a dollar and thirty-six cent in my bank account,&rdquo; said Kenyanna Brown. She works at Victoria&rsquo;s Secret in Watertower Place for $8.75 an hour; Illinois&rsquo; current minimum wage is $8.25. &ldquo;If I didn&rsquo;t live with my mom I&rsquo;d be on the streets, I wouldn&rsquo;t be able to provide for myself.&rdquo;</p><p>Protesters delivered a letter to the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, a downtown business group, and asked for a response by Dec. 22.</p><p>Brown said she was part of the small group who launched the campaign last month. The committee is&nbsp;affiliated with the community organization Action Now, and many who attended the protest wore Service Employees International Union (SEIU) shirts and hats. Protesters represented their home neighborhoods with large canvas signs.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6818_025-scr.JPG" style="height: 210px; width: 280px; float: right;" title="Kenyanna Brown spoke at the rally. (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" /></p><p><a href="http://www.nelp.org/page/-/Job_Creation/LowWageRecovery2012.pdf?nocdn=1" target="_blank">A recent study</a> by the National Employment Law Project says that although only 21 percent of jobs lost in the recession were in low-wage occupations, jobs paying less that $13.84 per hour account for 58 percent of new positions created since 2008. Of those new low-wage jobs, the sectors with the most growth are retail sales and food preparation.</p><p>And more low-wage workers in Chicago are above the age of 30 or supporting a whole household, according to <a href="http://standupchicago.org/files/2012/12/Final-Low-Wage-Report.pdf" target="_blank">a study affiliated with the campaign</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;I think that there&rsquo;s a misconception of the people that do work for minimum wage,&rdquo; said Amie Crawford, another organizer. She&rsquo;s 56 and works at downtown health-food store Protein Bar after struggling to find work in her profession as an interior designer. &ldquo;I feel that they - we - are dismissed because we&rsquo;re high school kids or we&rsquo;re retired people that just want extra money...that&rsquo;s not true.&rdquo;</p><p>Fight For 15 has links to a similar effort in New York that organized a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/29/nyregion/drive-to-unionize-fast-food-workers-opens-in-ny.html?ref=nyregion" target="_blank">fast food worker walk-out</a> in November.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 13 Dec 2012 20:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/fast-food-and-retail-workers-march-magnificent-mile-104377 Black Friday on the Mag Mile http://www.wbez.org/story/black-friday-mag-mile-94366 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-25/shopping on michigan.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago's Magnificent Mile shopping strip is teeming with Black Friday shoppers Friday. But if Chicagoans were shopping downtown, they were certainly hard to find.</p><p>The majority of people polled were from not just out of state, but from overseas - here to take advantage of a recession and good deals. Ben Schamisso from Belgium said he's impressed by the folks camping out in front of shops late last night.</p><p>"We have people being crazy over shopping in Europe too, but I do think people are a little crazier here," Schamisso said.</p><p>Shoppers may have been lining up at the wee hours of the morning, but everyone we talked to said they're only buying what they can afford this year and paying for it immediately, like Alison Stambaugh.</p><p>"I'm not doing the credit thing this year. I'm not gonna get in the hole again," Stambaugh said.<br> <br> For Anne-Marie Poltorak, the economy has provided a new perspective on the Black Friday craze.<br> <br> "As we're getting older and our kids are getting older, it's more of an experience of family and not so much things. We don't exchange as much," Poltorak said.</p><p>It's estimated 152,000,000 people will be holiday shopping around the country into the weekend.<br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 25 Nov 2011 23:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/black-friday-mag-mile-94366 Emanuel confident police will keep city safe http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-confident-police-will-keep-city-safe-87716 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//archives/images/cityroom/amp_091007_CAF-Maxson image_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>This weekend concern is up about the violent attacks in downtown Chicago.&nbsp; In the last week alone, dozens of arrests have been made but the attacks continue to happen. They often involve large groups of youngsters.</p><p>In a press conference on Friday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that police can keep the whole city safe.&nbsp; He said, "I'm confident as it relates to not just this weekend, but during the week and every weekend in every neighborhood. And that we have a strategy of putting police on the street which is where we need to put those resources."</p><p>Emanuel says additional police and undercover officers are being deployed downtown. Many of the assaults and robberies happened near the Michigan Avenue shops and in broad daylight.</p></p> Sat, 11 Jun 2011 20:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/emanuel-confident-police-will-keep-city-safe-87716