Weeks ago, the recycling carts disappeared from our alley. We live in a Chicago three-flat, and the City is supposed to provide single-stream blue carts for all residential buildings with four or fewer units. It hasn’t replaced them yet. Larger buildings are required to provide recycling services themselves, but this doesn’t always happen, either.
May 7, 2015

Looks like Vox is off to a pretty good start. Ezra Klein & Co.'s news & politics vertical is poised to do even more than Klein's past work already has to expand serious discussion of public policy, to take it outside the bubble of people who come to the conversation with specialized knowledge. Though if Matthew Yglesias's first post is any indication, Vox may make a different time-honored mistake of national political journalism: taking for granted that D.C. is the center of the universe, and that this universe exists entirely along the Eastern Seaboard.
April 8, 2014

When you live in the city, you end up having a lot of conversations about crime. People want to know about your neighborhood, and the conversation inevitably dances carefully around people’s beliefs about the relationship between violent crime and race. The ugly assumption no one ever quite comes out and states plainly (because they totally aren’t racist): We know the perpetrators of violent crime will be people of color. The question is, who will the victims be? In reality, interracial violence makes up a small share of violent crime—and when it does happen, perpetrators and victims alike are pretty diverse.
March 21, 2014

Here's some good news: despite our short collective attention span, despite the fiscal-cliff debacle dominating the headlines shortly after the Newtown shooting, the U.S. scourge of gun violence is still part of the national conversation. Now, every time I hear a public official mention Newtown and Aurora but not Chicago—which experienced a startling spike in gun homicides in 2012, mostly in poor, black neighborhoods—I'm ashamed at the implication that some killings deserve more shock and outrage than others. Still, whatever it takes to motivate people to take on the pro-gun lobby, I'm grateful to see it happening.
January 8, 2013

In the wake of the Newtown shooting, political will is growing to do something about guns. People are moved to act—and we must act.
December 20, 2012

I got up before dawn today. (My farmer wife does this every day; I try, with mixed results, to keep her hours.) We got to the polls just as they were opening. For the first time in the eight or nine times I’ve voted in Chicago, my name wasn’t on the list. I had my voter registration card with me, so nobody challenged my eligibility. But I did have to cast a provisional ballot, which might or might not eventually be counted.
November 6, 2012