Illinois migration problems are basically all the suburbs’ fault

At the CTBA Budget Blog, I wrote about that: Historically, Chicago’s suburban collar counties have been the migration powerhouse of the state, hoovering up people from across the country and the world, while relatively few of those suburbanites ended up leaving. Cook County, meanwhile, saw huge net out-migration, as city dwellers moved to the suburbs. Continue reading Illinois migration problems are basically all the suburbs’ fault

What is a left approach to housing in 2017?

Jordan Fraade asks: He then gives three good places to start: the Democratic Socialists for America-Los Angeles statement against Measure S; a short piece by Torrie Fischer on YIMBY socialism; and Rick Jacobus’ excellent column in Shelterforce last year. As far as a sort of programmatic, what-do-we-do-now agenda, I think Jacobus pretty much has it covered. His Continue reading What is a left approach to housing in 2017?

A South Side transit manifesto at South Side Weekly

Go read the whole piece here. You’ll have to click through for the many, many numbers and several maps, but the kicker: The generations of transportation and development policy that treated people without cars as an afterthought, or elements to be actively discouraged, are simply another part of the weaponization of geography. It created a two-tiered Continue reading A South Side transit manifesto at South Side Weekly

Emanuel’s electoral coalition bears little resemblance to Daley’s

Data journalism has had a field day with national politics, turning crosstab mining and precinct shifts into an entire subgenre of human intellectual enterprise. It’s fun, until it’s exhausting, which is pretty soon. But there’s much less to go on about local Chicago politics, which means I’m far from exhausted. To be sure, there’s been some Continue reading Emanuel’s electoral coalition bears little resemblance to Daley’s

Continuing to work my Midwestern Defensiveness beat at the Reader

Reviewing two new books from Belt Publishing: On the other hand, as Belt Publishing founder Anne Trubek lamented shortly after the election, writing about the midwest isn’t necessarily writing for midwesterners, much less by them. There’s something anthropological, even “colonial,” as Trubek puts it, in stories that purport to explain former steel towns and lakeside Continue reading Continuing to work my Midwestern Defensiveness beat at the Reader

O’Hare express: Bad. Damen Green Line: Good.

Two announcements from the Mayor today on Chicago transit. First, Emanuel is recommitting to the terrible, very bad O’Hare express train proposal that won’t save almost anybody any time and will probably cost the city a ton of money if it ever happens, while serving mostly as an abstract bragging right among rich business travelers. Continue reading O’Hare express: Bad. Damen Green Line: Good.

Rage

The changes have come so fast that it’s worth sitting for a minute on the fact that had someone in 2012 told the GOP that they would all be lining up behind this in 2016, it would have been considered outrageous slander. In the most generous interpretation, then, tens of millions of people have cynically Continue reading Rage