Federal Reforms Are Badly Needed

By: Lou Gale Our federal constitution dates back to the 18th Century.  By comparison, the Illinois Constitution dates all the way back to 1977, when I was just three years old.  That fact alone indicates our nation needs a constitutional refresher.  Congressman Sean Casten recently released a package of government reforms called a Common SenseContinue reading “Federal Reforms Are Badly Needed”

Why Run for Office

[The following was originally published on 9/9/19 and then updated 8/29/2022] By: Lou Gale I’m not sure who said it, but democracy is not a spectator sport.   A similar sentiment was more eloquently said by Teddy Roosevelt, who said that the average citizen must be a good citizen if our republic is to succeed. Continue reading “Why Run for Office”

Former Senator Durbin Intern Shares Experience of 9/11 Tragedy

By: Lou Gale As we approach and pass the anniversary of September 11th, I wanted to share an email I wrote to a large group of friends following that day.  At the time I was an intern in Washington DC and was in the Capitol Building on September 11th.  Below is my email written onContinue reading “Former Senator Durbin Intern Shares Experience of 9/11 Tragedy”

The last time the state of Illinois contributed its rainy day fund

Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently made his annual budget address, in which he touted the improved fiscal condition of the state as well as roughly $1 billion in extra revenue. Some of the highlights include providing financial relief to taxpayers by freezing taxes on gasoline and groceries. This is expected to cost the state $135 millionContinue reading “The last time the state of Illinois contributed its rainy day fund”

What reassigning CPD’s tactical officers to patrol districts means

A recent letter from Alderman Marty Quinn of the 13th Ward called for Superintendent Brown, head of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), to reverse the decision in which tactical officers would be reassigned to beat cars. This piece explains what that means. Since 1994, Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) has been implemented in which communities, theContinue reading “What reassigning CPD’s tactical officers to patrol districts means”

Legislative Look: Amending Illinois’ Open Meetings Act

One bill on deck this legislative session is amending the Open Meetings At. The Open Meetings Act (OMA) ensures that public body meetings are open and held publicly. This allows for a more transparent government for the people, as deliberations within the public body can be observed by the general public.  Public Act (P.A.) 101-0640Continue reading “Legislative Look: Amending Illinois’ Open Meetings Act”

Understanding and Analyzing Municipal Real Estate Transfer Taxes

Overview There are three things that are certain in life: birth, death, and taxes. While we don’t like paying them, they play an important role in helping fund public services, like police and fire departments, schools, and garbage collection. They can hit us from all corners, but one area of taxation where people seem toContinue reading “Understanding and Analyzing Municipal Real Estate Transfer Taxes”

Crime will continue to be the definitive local issue in 2022

By: Christopher Ryan Crisanti Crime has probably been the hyperlocal, defining issue of 2021 and with no signs of the numbers decreasing, it seems like this trend will continue in 2022. Prairie State Policy has published a few pieces as it relates to crime. One particularly notable piece illustrated where homicides occur in the cityContinue reading “Crime will continue to be the definitive local issue in 2022”

Something stinks on Chicago’s Southwest Side

Midway Defective Windows Cause for Concern Residents of Chicago’s Midway area have been couping with the smell of odorous chemicals coming from the installation of soundproof windows procured by Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA). The issue began over ten years ago, when the city of Chicago created the Midway Residential Sound Insulation Program (RSIP) toContinue reading “Something stinks on Chicago’s Southwest Side”

Comparing Chicago’s budget size to other U.S. cities

Overview Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently unveiled her $16.7 billion budget proposal to the City Council for FY 2022. Having the third largest population in the Union (2.7 million), the city of Chicago’s budget is also one of the largest among U.S. municipalities. This piece will compare the size of Chicago’s General Fund budget to theContinue reading “Comparing Chicago’s budget size to other U.S. cities”