The Nation: Price on Their Heads

From the day that Real Estate Investor Michael Sparks took over the 468-unit Twelve Oaks apartment complex in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, he knew what he wanted to do with it: get the children out and turn it into a singles development. At first he told tenants who have children that he would not renew their leases, but a 1909 Illinois statute was discovered prohibiting such a landlord action. Then Sparks decided to levy a $15-a-month head tax for each child in the buildings.

Last week 100 tenants braved a thunderstorm and tornado warning to do some storming at the...

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