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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. …

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 million…

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, the…

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.) 101-0640…

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 to…

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 city…

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) to…

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 the…

“Weak mayor” vs. “strong mayor” systems of government

By: Christopher Ryan Crisanti Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently unveiled her 2022 budget proposal to the City Council. While normally delivered in mid-October, the annual budget address not only provides an overview of the city’s fiscal priorities, but also reflects the significance and the power of the position of “mayor.” As the chief executive of a…

The tax funding of Illinois college football programs

Introduction Big-time college football is big-time business. And with big-time business comes big-time money. The United States is undoubtedly an (American) football nation. When the leaves start to fall, we go giddy for the gridiron. While Chicago may be regarded as a pro-football town, college football is no exception. What is sometimes forgotten is that…

State journalism task force is good for local journalism

By: Christopher Ryan Crisanti In July of this year I wrote about why local journalism matters not only for our communal well-being, but for our democracy as well. As more small, local newspapers have been purchased, there is the concern that the out-of-community corporation ownership has the potential erode local news. Moreover, some communities are…

Local 701 labor strike reminds us why unions matter for the economy

By: Christopher Ryan Crisanti Automobile Mechanics Union Local 701 earlier this month went on strike after contract talks with New Car Dealer Committee stalled. For those of use who live in Southwest burbs, the signs held by individuals occupied outside car dealerships made it apparent. The fight for a better contract reminds us of why…

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