Recently in Politics Category

NATO, Writing, Politics, Biking the Arts...

| | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (0)
A Busy Spring for Chicago Studies
by Sydney Paul, Class of '12

reunion1935baseballbtw.jpgSpring 2012 is already shaping up to be a busy time in the city with events like the NATO Summit in May.  We here at Chicago Studies plan to help students make the most of it.  We have the pedal to the metal with collaborations with a variety of faculty, the Sustainability Office, ORCSA, OMSA, the Creative Writing Program, the Human Rights Program,  the Logan Center, the Film Studies Center, and more. 

Here is a wrap-up of exciting events Chicago Studies has planned for Spring 2012:

NATO: Where It Came From and Where It's Going

(April 19th)  - 6:30pm Stuart Hall 101
mearshimerbtw.jpgJoin us for a discussion with Professor John Mearsheimer, who is the R.  Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, as  lectures on NATO's history and its relevance to the U.S.  and the world going forward.  Co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program. 

Hizzoner - 2011 Edition

| | Comments (2) | TrackBacks (0)
For the first time since the class of 2011 was born, the city of Chicago has elected a new mayor: Rahm Emanuel.

Also in this election:
  • Booth alumna Stephanie Neely won reelection as City Treasurer
  • Dual-degreed alum Will Burns (4th Ward Alderman) won his bid to fill SSA Alum Toni Preckwinkle's 4th Ward Aldermanic seat.
  • UofC Fourth-year and Bridgeport native Johnny Kozlar garnered a respectable 22% in his challenge to long-time 11th Ward Alderman James Balcer.
  • Law School alum Carol Moseley Braun was unsuccessful in her mayoral campaign.
For full results (including sortable mayoral results), visit:

If you're reading this post far into the future or want to check out past elections, visit the Chicago Board of Elections website:

Mayoral Election Resource Guide

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)

Compiled by Lynda Lopez, News and Public Affairs Intern

After 21 years of Mayor Daley, the city of Chicago is getting ready to elect a new leader. The election, which is set for February 22nd, has become one of the most contested in the city's recent history. There are currently 6 candidates running for office, including former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel and former chairman of the City Colleges of Chicago Gery Chico.

There has been no lack of coverage on the election, as every major media outlet is putting the candidates under public scrutiny. With an endless amount of coverage on the mayoral candidates, it can be quite difficult to filter through the media cloud to find the actual important content.It is important to make the right decision on election day, as the future of the city is going to be shaped by our new mayor. In order to facilitate your voting in February, here is a handy resource guide containing everything from how to register to vote to the best websites for candidate information.

Eligibility to vote:
-- be a U.S. citizen;
-- be at least 18 years of age by election day;
-- live in your precinct at least 30 days before the election;
-- not be in prison/jail serving time for a conviction; and,
-- not claim the right to vote elsewhere

How to register to vote:
-- by submitting this mail-in form. This form can be used: to register for the first time; to file a change of address; or, to file a change of name.
-- in person at 69 W. Washington St., Sixth Floor.
-- at any Secretary of State's office where driver's licenses and state IDs are issued.
-- through an active deputy registrar affiliated with a local organization, such as a political party, ward organization or other state-certified body.

Last day to register to vote is on January 25, 2011!
If you miss the deadline, you can still register until February 15th if you...
Pass by the Chicago Board of Elections in person at 69 W. Washington 6th Floor
To find your polling place, go to

Voting Early
You can vote early starting January 31st until February 17th. Go to to find out which locations have "Early Voting."

On Election Day:
Election Day is Tuesday, February 22nd. Polling places are open from 6am-7pm.
If a candidate does not receive the majority of votes (50%+1 vote), there might be a "Run-Off Election" on Tuesday, April 5th.

Mayoral Candidate websites
William Walls:
Rahm Emmanuel:
Carol Moseley Braun:
Miguel Del Valle:
Gery Chico:
Patricia Van Pelt Watkins:

Election News Sites

Volunteer for the election
Rahm Emmanuel:
Gery Chico:
Carol Moseley Braun:
Patricia Van Pelt Watkins:
Miguel Del Valle:
William Walls:

UCSC accepts story submissions from contributing writers that take a timely national issue and examine it in the local perspective. To join the pool, or learn more, visit

MLK in Chicago

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)
MLK Mollison Video.jpg

Video: Mollison Elementary & CUIP video honors MLK

King's legacy in Chicago is complicated. Forty-five years ago this month, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. moved into an apartment at 1550 S. Hamlin in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood on the west side. He worked with local leaders for open housing. Chicago challenged him in new ways.  Of his time in Chicago, he said: "I have never seen, even in Mississippi and Alabama, mobs as hostile and as hateful..."

A Political Earthquake

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

After 21 years, Mayor Richard Daley announced today that he would not seek re-election next year, opening up the race for any number of potential candidates.

[earlier] Articles about potential mayoral candidates
Will add more coverage as the story develops.


| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)
1913 was a big year in the history of the suffrage movement in Illinois. The State Legislature passed a suffrage bill that recognized a woman's right to vote for Presidential electors (first state east of the Mississippi) and many local officials. Ida B. Wells-Barnett founded the Alpha Suffrage Club, believed to be the first such organization for Negro women in the country.
The passage of the suffrage bill was possible because of the hard work of activists led the Chicago Political Equality League, especially Grace Wilbur Trout (at right). From the Wikipedia entry: "One of her [Trout's] assistants, Elizabeth Booth, cut up a Blue Book government directory and made file cards for each of the members of the General Assembly. Armed with the names, four lobbyists went to Springfield to persuade one legislator at a time to support suffrage for women. In 1913, first-term Speaker of the House, Democrat Champ Clark, told Trout that he would submit the bill for a final vote, if there was support for the bill in Illinois. Trout enlisted her network, and while in Chicago over the weekend, Clark received a phone call every 15 minutes, day and night. On returning to Springfield he found a deluge of telegrams and letters from around the state all in favor of suffrage."

The suffrage movement had long roots in Illinois and continued until the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. More information on the 1910-1913 campaign for suffrage in Illinois.

This week marks the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Social Justice Student Expo

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
Chicago Youth Initiating Change, a local group composed of students and teachers organizing for social justice initiatives, hosted the 2009 Social Justice Student Expo at the UIC campus on Friday, May 22. I attended as a chaperon with a student group from Little Village Lawndale's Social Justice High School.

Throughout the day, several hundred high school and junior high students led or attended workshops and presented research about topics ranging from Renaissance 2010 to the foreclosure crisis. I attended a workshop about the controversial Willie Lynch letter and the unsourced Let's Make a Slave text that often accompanies it. Rather than using these texts as basis for a historical lecture, the students used them as a starting point to examine social power and oppression. The presenters and the audience handled the difficult source material maturely and pushed to make it relevant to their lived experience -- fulfilling the expo's goal of collaborative teaching and learning about social justice.

At the end of the day, students regrouped for a "talent show," sharing poetry, spoken word pieces, songs, and even some very impressive footwork, both from audience members and a Chicago footwork troupe, the FootworKINGZ.

The expo showed off the best qualities of Chicago youth -- creativity, intelligence, self-reflection, energy, and compassion.

El pueblo unido jamás será vencido

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
May 1, 1886 marked the first day of a peaceful labor protest in Chicago, led by workers demanding an eight-hour work day. This event is commemorated around the world as International Workers' Day. Chicagoans engage by organizing an annual march and rally. This year some 2,000 people braved bad weather and the public health worries of swine flu to march two-and-a-half miles from Union Park to Daley Plaza. The organizers of the rally focused on issues of immigration reform, inviting speakers and organizations from many of Chicagoland's immigrant and progressive groups. Students from Kelly High School in Brighton Park and Social Justice High School in Little Village, members of the Coalition of African Arab Asian European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois, Workers United, Gay Liberation Network, and dozens of other groups came together to celebrate their shared history and common goals, and call for decisive politcal action regarding comprehensive immigration reform. One of the most-repeated cheers of the afternoon was a strong show of solidarity with the city's large Chicano and Latino immigrant population, "Obama escucha: estamos en la lucha" (Obama, listen: we are in the struggle).

From my place in line few opponents were visible, and the event was positive, peaceful, and productive. Chicagoist has a nice selection of pictures from the day, while Progress Illinois, the Tribune, and  the ChiTown Daily News repoort on the event.

South Side students say to IOC: "No Games!"

| | Comments (8) | TrackBacks (0)

The International Olympics Committee is in town, conducting what news media are calling the most thorough tour of the city since the Blues Brothers blew through. City officials led the IOC through proposed venues for the 2016 Olympics from the Loop to Washington Park, while the committee judged the city's viability as a potential host to the games.

No Games Chicago, a city-wide group organizing against the Olympic bid, has other plans for what the IOC will see, however; this includes the anti-games protest they hosted in Federal Plaza last Thursday. University of Chicago students and other members of the South Side community turned out at the protest to voice their worries over how the 2016 Olympics would effect Chicago's neighborhoods. 

Workers paint a billboard advertising the Chicago Olympics bid in Lincoln Park. (Photo by Rachel Cromidas)

University of Chicago College Alumnus Matt Ginsberg-Jaekle said gentrification will be his main concern if Chicago gets the Olympics. 

"Chicago is a city that's already notorious for displacing its low-income people," he said.

Ginsberg-Jaekle is a member of Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP), a community organization comprised of residents of Woodlawn, Washington Park, and other nearby neighborhoods that is heavily involved in anti-Olympics campaigning. 

"Our concern is that the Olympic Committee and [the non-profit Chicago] 2016 will say, 'oh, it's going to bring jobs and economic development, etc.' But we don't need the Olympics to launch major infrastructure projects. We can spend 500 million dollars on constructing affordable housing, and a number of other things."

Jake Werner, a graduate student in the History department and a member of the community group South Side Solidarity Network (SSN), led a group of 10 students to the Federal Plaza protest.

 Werner, a resident of Hyde Park, echoes Ginsberg-Jaeckle's worries about the displacement of South Side tenants in the wake of the Olympic games. 

"[My concern is] that the city will end up evicting homeless people just to make the city look good while our international visitors are here," he said. "The Olympics will accelerate gentrification from the South Side to around 55th street, and do what has already happened to the North Side: make it a nice place for professionals to live. That won't address the issue of poverty, it just pushes it away."

"I would support the Olympics if I trusted Mayor Daley to not use this as an opportunity to push poor people out of their homes," Werner added.

The NO Games Coalition wasn't the only organization to take to the streets in response to the IOC's visit.  The Chicago Police Union picketed City Hall on Thursday, taking advantage of the committee's arrival to draw the city's attention to a contract dispute. Here are some related stories about how the IOC is stirring up community members' enthusiasm, and ire, around Chicago:

*Hyde Park Progress Blog: Grooming for the IOC at MSI

*ABClocal: Mayor Daley says games would be good for city

Signs of the times

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
From the Department-of-Truth files: An Illinois House Committee recently introduced legislation to bar state officials from affixing their names to signage paid for with state money. Hardly a week out of the governor's mansion and already Blagojevich's name has been struck from billboards and dedicatory placards everywhere.

How would Chicago's own Richard M. Daley, Mayor, famous for attaching to his name to anything that will sit still long enough for the ink to dry, react if the city enacted a similar measure?