Posts in category "Uncategorized"

Show Me The Money...Under the Bright Lights of Transparency!

The discussion about problem buildings in the 49th ward has been put front and center again because of yet another tragedy — a fire that took the life of 3-year old child.  It is unfortunate that it often takes tragedy to shine a light on problems, but human nature is such that we tend to... Read more »

Transparency, Charter Schools and That Pesky Turkish Connection...

Regardless of whether you think charter schools are the best thing for your kids since skinny-ass Mudd Jeans or the worst thing for your kids since, well… skinny-ass Mudd Jeans, one thing we can all agree on is that transparency is sorely lacking and in some cases non-existent when it comes to charters—and that’s a... Read more »

Transparency, Charter Schools, Alternate Universes and Black Holes… Oh My!

In last week’s post I expounded on the dangers to further transparency in government from a “Municipal Industrial Complex” exacerbated by continued privatization of our public services and infrastructure. One example that I brought up was from a Chicago Reader article by Ben Joravsky regarding the stonewalling of information by the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO)... Read more »
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So Much For Fucking Transparency…Or How We Should Stop Worrying And Love The Municipal Industrial Complex

It’s been a few months since my last post because I’ve been working on finishing up my second book. However, if you’ve been away and living on some remote Pacific island for a while, you could be excused for not being aware of the fire sale of public assets going on around this country. Cities facing... Read more »

Transparency, Privacy and Ben Franklin

Now that the dust has settled on the news of last week, and everyone has been duly informed that our privacy appears to be a quaint entitlement of the 19th century, this appears to be a good time to provide my commentary.  You might be wondering what transparency in government and personal privacy have in... Read more »

Transparency In Chicago: Asking The Right Questions

Transparency in government at times results from someone asking the right questions in the face of an opaque administration. In Chicago, sadly, it’s often the ONLY way we get transparency in government. More on that in a bit. Apparently our City Council was recently provided a copy of a proposal to revise the disastrous parking... Read more »
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FOIA Foibles and the Guise of Transparency

A foible is from the French word meaning “the weaker section of a sword blade, from the middle to the tip.” In an article for the Chicago Reader, Ben Joravsky pointed out one of the many foibles of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. If a public entity doesn’t have a document, whether it was... Read more »

Seeing Red Over Transparency

If you drive in the city of Chicago, you have to be seeing red over the implementation of what is the largest red light camera system in the country. The latest installment in the ongoing soap opera known as “The Redflex Files” has come out today… http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130514/chicago/new-report-casts-doubt-on-safety-claims-of-citys-red-light-camera-program From the very beginning, going back to Kid... Read more »

Faux Transparency CPS Style

Linda Lutton, WBEZ’s education reporter, exposed what appears to be a manipulation of the facts by CPS on savings accrued in the closing down of over 50 schools http://www.wbez.org/news/education/zero-trust-after-cps-admits-it-overstated-savings-closing-schools-107044. This is yet another instance where government, seeming to be credible, abuses the public trust by manipulating the facts such that it appears that there is... Read more »
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TIF Transparency… Chicago Style

Steamed bun (preferably Mary Ann), Vienna hot dog, lots of mustard (yellow or brown), raw onions, pickle, celery salt (tomatoes, relish and hot peppers optional – but for god’s sake, no ketchup!). That’s your hot dog, Chicago style. That’s also your TIF, Chicago style. No, silly, not literally—metaphorically. You see your TIF is the hot... Read more »
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    Don Gordon

    A life-long Chicago resident, and long-time community activist, Gordon began teaching courses on political reform, transparency in government and Chicago political history at Northwestern University in Spring 2009. Gordon was an aldermanic candidate in a hotly contested run-off race in Chicago's far north side 49th Ward in 2007. His first book, “Piss ‘Em All Off: And Other Practices of the Effective Citizen”, is based on 30 years as a community organizer and his experience running for political office. He has just completed his second book on transparency in government, published by Prometheus Books and due out Spring of 2014. Both his books and his courses reflect the insight and experience of being inside the belly of the beast of Chicago politics.

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