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When Is a Meeting Not a Meeting and a Lawmaker Not a Lawmaker? When It’s Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago.

Chicago’s mayor held secretive calls with the City Council and claimed they weren't “public business.” We asked the state attorney general’s office to review whether she and the council violated the Open Meetings Act. Its ruling: Yes.

Mobilizing the National Guard Doesn’t Mean Your State Is Under Martial Law. Usually.

The idea of “calling in the National Guard” can mean different things in practice and perception. We spoke with a public information officer for the Illinois National Guard about rumors, reality and fear.

Hundreds of Children Are Stuck in Psychiatric Hospitals Each Year Despite the State’s Promises to Find Them Homes

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services promised to rescue children languishing in psychiatric hospitals for weeks and sometimes months beyond medical necessity. But the state hasn’t delivered and the problem has only gotten worse.

Trabajadoras temporales luchan contra supuesto acoso sexual y dicen que sufren represalias por hacerlo

El fiscal general de Illinois anunció que había alcanzado un acuerdo con la empresa que establece una supervisión independiente para proteger a las trabajadoras.

Temp Workers Fight Back Against Alleged Sexual Harassment and Say They Face Retaliation for Doing So

The Illinois attorney general announced that he reached a settlement with the company that calls for an independent monitor to protect the workers.

A Closer Look at the Public Art at Chicago Police Stations

After removing its Columbus statues, Chicago will reassess its collection of hundreds of public art pieces to better “reflect our values as Chicagoans.” So I asked artists to reflect on the work they made for the city’s police stations.

In Lori Lightfoot’s Chicago, Bridges Have Become Barricades

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has repeatedly ordered Chicago’s river bridges raised to keep people out of downtown. She said the move was to protect businesses and residents. But it is also a symbol of the city’s divisions.

Illinois Has Promised to “Infuse Love” in Its Juvenile Justice System, but What Will Actually Change?

A state plan that focuses on moving incarcerated children from prison-like settings to “dorm-like” regional residential centers is being described as a sea change.

4 Perspectives on the Christopher Columbus Statues

When Chicago removed two statues last week, it did so in the middle of the night without public announcement. What does that mean for communities invested in the decision making process?

What People Who Live in Mostly White Towns Need to Know About History

How can white people elevate stories of people of color? Are there ways residents of small towns can address structural racism? Here are more answers to your questions about sundown towns and a video of our event.

“I Can’t Breathe.” It Happens at Schools, Too.

Students in Illinois schools said “I can’t breathe” while being restrained at least 30 times over the time period we investigated, according to our analysis of the records. The practice of face-down restraint is still legal in Illinois.

The Nation’s First Reparations Package to Survivors of Police Torture Included a Public Memorial. Survivors Are Still Waiting.

Five years ago, Chicago approved historic reparations for survivors of torture under former police Cmdr. Jon Burge. The city promised to create a memorial. It hasn’t.

I’ve Reported on How Chicago’s Ticketing System Has Hurt Black Residents. Now, the Conversation About Reform Is Changing.

The killing of George Floyd by police has sparked a reexamination of other systems in this country that are also weighted against Black people. Ticketing is one of them.

Slavery Existed in Illinois, but Schools Don’t Always Teach That History

Schools often teach the Civil War in terms of “free states” and “slave states.” Illinois complicates those definitions. We spoke with a historian and high school teacher about slavery’s legacy in Illinois.

A Sundown Town Sees Its First Black Lives Matter Protest

Most people I met in Anna, Illinois, wish the racist lore behind the city’s name would go away. Some say Anna’s first Black Lives Matter protest is a step toward real change. But what is next?

Police Brutality, COVID-19 and Overdoses in Chicago Follow the Same Deadly Pattern

Our country’s long history of structural racism stands at the center of why police brutality, COVID-19 and the opioid crisis are disproportionately killing black Americans, including in Chicago.

A Nurse With One Lung Had COVID-19. Other Nurses Saved Her.

In the coronavirus era, nurses are called heroes. Sometimes, the lives they save are those of other nurses.

Families Were Grieving and Planning Funerals. They Still Wanted to Share Their Stories.

We spoke with families and friends of 22 victims of Chicago’s first 100 recorded deaths from COVID-19. Here’s how we kept reporting, and what those families want you to know.

How We Used FOIA to Track Ventilator and Hospital Bed Availability in Illinois

Early data released by the Illinois Department of Public Health wasn’t granular enough for an accurate picture of the coronavirus’ impact on Chicago hospitals versus hospitals in areas with fewer cases. Here’s how we pushed for specifics.

What Other States Can Learn From What Happened in Illinois After It Legalized Gambling

Attention: Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Pennsylvania. Accel Entertainment became the largest video gambling operator in Illinois. Now it has its eyes on you.

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