Deanese Williams-Harris

Brokers aren't as heavily regulated as other industries, offering some leeway for the unethical to trick consumers into bad loans. As it stands, brokers also have the right to charge high fees.

State Rep. Esther Golar gets upset every time she sees an abandoned building in her district. She recalls a walk she took down the 6100 block of South Carpenter in Englewood, where she counted nine single-family homes and two-flats that had been hit by foreclosure. 

The social ills that once plagued Chicago public housing can be eliminated with a few swings of a wrecking ball. Drug dealing, gang shootings, economic isolation and squalor will be displaced as housing projects throughout the city are torn down.

Advocacy groups argue that a one-size-fits-all policy to measure accountability is unfair, particularly in such an economically diverse state as Illinois.

Though there is widespread support of the HPV vaccine, there will be opponents to the idea of requiring inoculation for preteen girls.

Lawmakers could face a dilemma this spring: whether the state should play guardian angel to Illinois' preteens.

A proposal is in the works to require vaccinations for 11- and 12-year-old girls that are designed to stop certain types of the human papillomavirus, the most common sexually transmitted disease. The virus, HPV for short, also is linked to cervical cancer.

Call to Action

Feb 1, 2007

Statewide officials set out their agendas he new kid on the block is a 30-year-old Chicago banker and the first Democratic state treasurer in 12 years. After taking his oath of office, Alexander "Alexi" Giannoulias said he intends to be a consumer advocate while serving as the state's fiscal watchdog.

On his first official day, Giannoulias issued an executive order banning so-called pay-to-play politics by prohibiting contributors and family members from receiving state contracts with his office.