Archive

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan Builds Power From the Ground Up — And Sometimes From the Basement

A polling place in a Chicago home offers a view of the operation run by the state’s most powerful politician.

New Model Shows Towns on the Wrong Side of an Illinois Levee District Are Treading Water

By building up their own flood protections, some communities have ensured they would be less affected by future floods, while their neighbors would fare worse.

Inside a Secretive Lobbying Effort to Deregulate Federal Levees

The effort seeks to undermine federal rules meant to prevent “levee wars” — where communities race to boost their own flood protection at the expense of their neighbors.

How Overbuilt Levees Along the Upper Mississippi River Push Floods Onto Others

A new analysis of government data shows how levee districts that have raised their levees without federal permits would be better protected against future flooding, while those that follow the rules would see extra flooding.

Takeaways From Our First Free Street Theater Journalism Workshop

Here’s what we learned from our kickoff event in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Seeing Journalism Make a Difference in Election Results

Here’s to getting through the weeds, getting out to vote and the impact of local reporting. But our work isn’t over.

Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios’ Defeat Opens the Door to Reform

Democratic primary winner Fritz Kaegi pledged change, but delivering it won’t be easy.

A Political Boss Goes Down

Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, one of the last leaders of the old Democratic machine, loses the Democratic primary to a wealthy political newcomer.

Getting to Know Illinois — And You

For a Chicago newbie, learning about a city begins with books, buildings and, especially, people. One thing I’ve figured out: I need a snow shovel.

Flawed Assessments Caused $2 Billion Shift in Property Taxes, Study Finds

Under Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, assessment system shaved $1 billion from Chicago’s most expensive homes, while owners of lower-valued homes picked up the tab.

Some States No Longer Suspend Driver’s Licenses for Unpaid Fines. Will Illinois Join Them?

Our analysis shows suspensions tied to ticket debt disproportionately affect motorists in largely black sections of Chicago and its suburbs.

How Do We Keep Bias Out of Stories?

We stick with the facts, and several editors read every story.

We’ve Updated Our Campaign Widget to Better Help You Follow the Money

In the pricey Illinois governor’s race, it’s more important than ever.

Win or Lose in GOP Primary for Governor, Jeanne Ives Helps Push Illinois to the Right

Top donors, operatives abandon Rauner and put their money with conservative crusader.

We’ve Updated ‘The Money Game,’ Our Illinois Governor’s Race Fundraising Widget

We now show candidates’ self-funding and have cards to share on social media.

She Owed $102,158.40 in Unpaid Tickets, but She’s Not in the Story

Still, we want to tell you a little bit about her, and about some of the other people we interviewed, because they helped inform our ticket debt investigation.

How Chicago Ticket Debt Sends Black Motorists Into Bankruptcy

A cash-strapped city employs punitive measures to collect from cash-strapped black residents — and lawyers benefit.

The Many Roads to Bankruptcy

Here are some stories of Chicagoans driven into ticket debt.

Bringing Theater and Investigative Reporters to You

Here are the places ProPublica Illinois and Free Street Theater will be visiting. Will we see you there?

When Is a Story Ready to Publish?

It's a tricky balance: more reporting versus the need to get the story out. And sometimes deadlines come and go.

Follow ProPublica Illinois

More from ProPublica