Hello, everybody. Ben Joravsky here. I will be your tour guide, at least for this brief tour of my part of this great enterprise.
I’m the old guy at the Reader. Been a Reader writer for over 40 years. My first article was published during the Carter administration. I know what you’re gonna say, youngsters. You’re gonna say—“that was before I was born!”
Yeah, I hear that a lot.
I’m a political columnist. Have been for this whole century. Before that I wrote features and news stories. I’ve written hundreds, probably thousands of stories about just about everything you can imagine. Schools, parks, housing, economic development, and taxation—man, do I know taxation. People say, “Oh, wait, Ben, the TIF guy!” Yeah, that’s me—the TIF guy. But I better move on before I get sidetracked with another TIF story …
I’ve also written about the great political characters of Chicago. Governors, aldermen, and state reps. Every mayor from Byrne to Washington to Daley to Emanuel to Lightfoot.
Can’t say I’m a big fan of any of those last three. It’s like Chicago could be the greatest city in the world, politically speaking, and yet it seems so determined to make the same old mistakes.
So often I find myself with the other political misfits on the fringe, fighting some really bad idea—like the Olympics—that corporate Chicago is trying to shove down our throats.
As you can probably tell from that last sentence, I’m a leftie who believes in progressivity. In other words, the wealthier you are, the more you should contribute to the common good of the city.
Yet we also seem to be heading in the other direction. Regressivity. And that’s what I write so much about. That fight. That struggle. That never seems to end. So check out those columns.
Something else you need to know about me: I follow politics obsessively outside of Chicago, too.
And now I’m a lucky fella because I get to share my thoughts, passions, and obsessions about local, state, and national politics with all kinds of super-smart people like you.
In case you didn’t know, I have a daily podcast: The Ben Joravsky Show. That’s easy to remember. (Find it wherever you podcast.) Basically, it’s me talking to other political junkies like me. We try to make sense of the madness. Let you know what’s really going on. And leave you laughing every now and then. ’Cause some of this stuff is so bat-shit crazy you gotta laugh to keep from crying. We drop shows every day.
And don’t worry, sometimes we focus on the lighter side: from time to time we mix it up with we also talk about sports (speaking of my obsessions), movies, books, and TV shows. ‘Cause you gotta stay sane somehow.
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