Black life expectancy gap in Chicago continues to get worse, report finds




Black Chicagoans are expected to live more than nine years less than non-Black residents — and that gap in life expectancy is only growing, according to a report released Tuesday.

The report by the Chicago Department of Public Health presents a grim but unsurprising outlook on how inequities in housing, income, access to healthy food and trauma have contributed to the disparity in the city.

From 2012 to 2017, the life expectancy gap between Black residents and non-Black residents grew from 8.3 years to 9.2 years, the report found.

Black Chicagoans on average live 71.4 years while non-Black residents live 80.6 years. While non-Blacks saw their life expectancy drop by more than three months in those five years, life expectancy dropped for Blacks by more than 14 months. The report cites five main factors: chronic diseases, homicide, infant mortality, opioid overdoses and HIV, flu or other infections.

Author(s): Manny Ramos

Publication Date: 15 June 2021

Publication Site: Chicago Sun-Times

Lightfoot urges Pritzker to veto firefighters pension bill



A bill that awaits Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature would boost pensions for about 2,200 active and retired firefighters, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants the governor to veto it. Sun-Times file photo

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker to veto a bill boosting pensions for thousands of Chicago firefighters, arguing it would saddle beleaguered taxpayers with perpetual property tax increases and cripple a pension fund dangerously close to insolvency.

The bill, introduced by state Sen. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, a Lightfoot political nemesis, passed in the waning hours of the lame duck session and awaits Pritzker’s signature or veto.

It removes the “birth date restriction” that prohibits roughly 2,200 active and retired firefighters born after Jan. 1, 1966 from receiving a 3% annual cost of living increase. Instead, they get half that amount, 1.5% — and it is not compounded.

Author(s): Fran Spielman

Publication Date: 18 February 2021

Publication Site: Chicago Sun-Times