There are big happenings going on with the Chicago skyline in the future according to plans released to the public on Tuesday.


Developer Related Midwest unveiled its proposal to turn 2.2 acres at 400 N. Lake Shore Drive into a gleaming two-tower complex that will transform the Chicago skyline. The towers will house condos and a hotel and will also feature an addition to the popular Riverwalk pedestrian walkway. The cascading silhouettes will boast dramatic and sweeping views of Lake Michigan and the entire downtown Chicago area, drawing organically from the area where the mouth of the Chicago River meets the majestic lake and converges with the existing skyscrapers.


The tallest of the towers will be the south tower, rising to a height of 1,100 feet and housing a 175-room upscale hotel on the lower floors with 300 separate condo units on the upper floors. The smaller north tower will be 850 feet tall and will feature 550 rental units, according to Curt Bailey, the president of Related Midwest. To shield residents and visitors from the harsh Chicago winter weather, the two towers will be connected by an enclosed ground floor atrium. Parking concerns will be addressed with an underground parking garage.


Related Midwest has also been charged with the Riverwalk extension. As part of the plan, the long-awaited DuSable Park will be brought to fruition, with Related Midwest chipping in $10 million to the park’s construction. Between the two towers, the Riverwalk expansion, and the park construction, the area surrounding the Streeterville neighborhood will be enhanced dramatically, further cementing downtown Chicago’s place as a premier global destination.


The amount of plastic that makes its way into landfills is staggering. Plastic that is thrown away is also a scourge to the planet’s oceans. More and more marine animals are being found with plastic in their systems.

In order to help reduce landfill waste and protect the environment, the city of San Francisco is contemplating banning plastic straws from being used in dining establishments. If San Francisco is to ultimately adopt this particular measure, it would join several other cities in California that also have this ban in place.

In reality, the plastic straw ban would not be complete. It would prohibit restaurants, bars and dining establishments from putting straws within drinks as a matter of course. A customer would have to ask for a plastic straw specifically in order for the establishment to provide one for the customer. The hope of those seeking the plastic straw measure is that establishments will begin to use straws that are made out of compostable materials such as straws made from paper.

This measure would be just another in a long-line of measures adopted within the city of San Francisco in order to cut down on landfill waste. The city has also banned the use of Styrofoam cups in the city. The use of plastic shopping bags in stores is also not allowed.

Environmental advocates hope that the proposed straw measure will be just the first measure in cutting down on waste from dining establishments. One study has shown that as much as two-thirds of San Francisco’s landfill waste comes from food packaging from restaurants.

San Francisco has the goal of becoming waste free by the end of 2020. Several measures such as the one to ban plastic straws will need to be implemented if the city is going to come close to reaching that goal.

May 29, 2018 · Head Tax · (No comments)

Despite compromises on both sides of the initiative, it was a vote riddled with controversy as the Seattle City Council voted 9-0 to impose a head tax on local corporations. Monday’s vote approved the tax of $275 per employee per year on companies making more than $20 million annually.

The move was slammed by both Starbucks and Amazon, two companies that will be affected in a big way. Calling the tax proposal a “hostile approach”, Amazon made news a few weeks ago when it threatened to halt construction on a planned downtown skyscraper in response to the initiative.

Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan praised the legislation, saying that money generated will go a long way in helping to solve the city’s escalating homelessness crisis. The expected revenue of $48 million per year will be funneled back to the city to fund homeless services and provide more affordable housing. The initiative will go into effect on January 1, 2019, and will expire after a period of five years. Approximately two-thirds of the revenue will go directly into building affordable housing, a move hailed by many city officials who recognize the need to provide more options for lower-income residents. In addition to the new housing, money will be directed to support services needs including rental subsidies, shelter beds, and necessary garbage removal.

The compromise came after much debate over the original legislation which proposed a tax of $500 per employee. The original proposal would have generated $75 million in revenue
Some politicians in Olympia are already fighting back, with Republican State Sen. Mark Schoesler stating that he plans to introduce a repeal bill.

Avaaz, a civic organization developed to promote activism on a global level, was established in early 2007 and is based in the United States. The group takes on issues such as conflict, poverty, corruption, animal rights, human rights and climate change. The organization was co-founded by and Res Publica and received support from the Service Employees International Union.

The organization was also co-founded by several individuals including Andrea Woodhouse, Jeremy Heimans, David Madden, Eli Pariser, Tom Petrello and Tom Pravda and Ricken Patel. Several of the individual members also serve on the board of directors for the organizations in different capacities.

The organization is supported by the generosity of individual members and through that effort the organization has raised more than $20 million. The organization was supported through donations from several foundations that provided funding for start-up costs, as well as staff prior to 2009. Since then, the organization has been supported through the individual donation effort.

The campaigns that Avaaz undertakes are managed by a team representing more than 30 countries. Communication from the team to the membership at large is typically carried out through email. The team uses methods that include email your leader, videos and on-line partitions. They also implement advertising and legal advice to help implement a variety of methods such as sit-ins, phone-ins, rallies and stunts that are always media friendly. The membership at large often suggests methods to campaign, as well as campaign topics.

The organization likes to consider supporting campaigns that are considered progressive. Even though the group is often criticized through the media for its support and involvement of certain causes, they are never deterred from their objective. There are those that often question the groups focus to utilize online methods such as petitions to achieve a goal, as it is sometimes considered to spawn a certain level of laziness. Instead of inspiring activism, are online petitions inspiring clickism? Avaaz defends their position by stating they are bringing awareness to a certain segment of the population that would have remained unaware.

The organizations remains steadfast in their mission to organize the citizens of the world to take action about certain issues that affect the entire population. The priorities of the group are set by the members and the campaigns to support are through member sampling.