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Mick Dumke

Reporter

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Mick Dumke is a reporter for ProPublica Illinois. He came to ProPublica after two years on the Watchdogs team at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he reported on the dismantling of public housing, the impacts of the state budget crisis on prisoner re-entry and the police department’s use of a secret watch list. Before that, he spent almost a decade as a politics writer and editor for the Chicago Reader. Among his investigations, he reported on racial disparities in drug enforcement and the privatization of Chicago’s parking meter system and other public assets. He has also worked as a reporter and editor at the Chicago Reporter magazine, taught social studies at an alternative high school and studied religion at Northwestern University and McCormick Theological Seminary.

The Election Is Over. And Now the Next Elections Begin.

After Tuesday’s bluebath, Democrats dominate. But what comes next?

In Illinois Governor’s Race, Rauner and Pritzker See a Clear Need to Promise Transparency

The Freedom of Information Act backlog starts with offices around the state, including the governor’s.

Citizens Count on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act but Keep Getting Shut Out

The office of the public access counselor was supposed to enforce open government laws. Nearly a decade later, it’s backlogged and frequently ignored.

Note to the Next Mayor: Chicago Is a City of the World, But We Want the Neighborhoods Fixed, Too

In the community where Officer Jason Van Dyke shot Laquan McDonald four years ago, residents worry about policing, crime and inequality.

Protests and Blaming the Media. Sound Familiar? That Was During the ’68 Democratic National Convention.

Archived letters to former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley bring up familiar concerns about unrest, policing, political divisions and “propaganda.”

Illinois House Candidate Will Walk for Votes — And Has To

Challenger Amanda Biela takes on the “Madigan machine,” and copes with a divided Republican Party.

Like Chicago Police, Cook County and Illinois Officials Track Thousands of People in Gang Databases

Gang files at other agencies include missing information and dead people.

The Administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel Keeps Monitoring Protesters

Chicago police and City Hall tracked anti-Trump demonstrators — and now state legislators want to let them use drones.

Amid Affordable Housing Dispute, Conservatives Seek a Home in Chicago

Groups tied to Illinois Policy Institute and talk show host Dan Proft back GOP candidates on city’s Northwest Side.

Nonprofit Watchdog Group Shutting Down

Project Six is closing its doors following our story revealing conservative donors.

Chicago’s Gang Database Isn’t Just About Gangs

Why are the Black Panthers listed alongside street gangs?

Chicago’s Gang Database Is Full of Errors — And Records We Have Prove It

Pushing 80 and still gangbanging?

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.

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.

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.

Congressman Calls For Investigation Of Conservative Think Tank

Veteran Democrat Lipinski joins critics of the Illinois Policy Institute with a letter to the IRS.

As Conservative Group Grows In Influence, Financial Dealings Enrich Its Leaders

Illinois Policy Institute has called for government reform while channeling money to firms owned by insiders.

Watchdogging a Nonprofit Watchdog

How we identified the funders behind Project Six, and how you can dig into nonprofits, too.

‘Independent’ Watchdog’s Secret Funder: Conservative Small-Government Group

Project Six, led by the former City Council inspector general, got 98 percent of its startup money from the right-leaning Illinois Policy Institute.

Despite Mayor’s Pledge, Hundreds of Chicago Cops Still in Desk Jobs

Emanuel still hasn’t delivered on promise to put more civilians in desk jobs and get additional officers on the street.

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