Tony Briscoe is a reporter for ProPublica Illinois. He previously worked at The Chicago Tribune as an environmental reporter, writing extensively about issues facing the Great Lakes and the impacts of climate change in the Midwest. His reporting on the Illinois EPA’s environmental justice program revealed lapses in state outreach efforts to low-income and minority communities, leading to reform in community engagement practices. Briscoe placed second in the environmental writing category at the 86th National Headliner Awards for his series exploring how global warming is jeopardizing the Great Lakes. He was awarded the 2019 Peter Lisagor Award for best science and environmental reporting in Chicago. A graduate of Michigan State University, Briscoe began his career as a breaking news reporter at The Detroit News.
It is FEMA’s job to warn homeowners about major flood risks, but its approach is notoriously limited. In Cook County alone, researchers found about six times as many properties in danger as FEMA estimated. Look up your address with a new tool.
In Chicago, 70 of the city’s 100 first recorded victims of COVID-19 were black. Their lives were rich, and their deaths cannot be dismissed as inevitable. Immediate factors could — and should — have been addressed.