One Story Up


What is One Story Up?

One Story Up is a blog about the basic cell in the body of a city: housing.

Where we live is the basic point of view in our life, the spring board from which we do anything and everything. I'm exploring how we divide up the pie of Chicago - who gets to live where and what they have access to.

One Story Up is a little bit of public affairs, investigative reporting, observations, thoughts and ideas about public and affordable housing in Chicago. It's about urban poverty and how we're dealing with it.

Mostly, it's the stories of people who live here and the complex web between race, class, economics and geography -  in format that doesn't bore, overwhelm or exclude you.

Stories that get to the heart of what's happening in our city.

Stories you can't find anywhere else.

I have this crazy idea about stories. I think stories can change the world. In fact, if I'm really honest, I think stories are the only thing that really can change the world.

I've been telling myself stories my whole life. Some of my earliest memories are of laying on my twin-size bed, imagining myself jumping into my favorite cartoons and books and making myself a part of them. In college, I learned about this developmental theory that postulates that we all tell stories in our heads where we're the hero, and we shape our world accordingly. I really believe that. Humans are wired to love stories. Stories answer life's basic questions: Who am I? What am I doing here? What's good and what's evil? How am I supposed to think about the world?

A good story challenges those questions and gets to the very heart of how we see the world. 

When I thought of the title One Story Up, I wanted something that sounded like buildings and housing, but I also wanted a name that reminded me of my core mission: to tell stories.You'll find stories here that move you and make you think, and maybe, just maybe, change how you see the world. I can't wait to hear your stories, and let them change what I think too.

Who is this girl?

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Megan Cottrell, One Story Up

I'm originally from Michigan. I live in Lincoln Square with my husband, Jeff. I went to Central Michigan University, where I studied political science and history.  I spent a summer in college living on West Side of Chicago in the Lawndale neighborhood, where I discovered a passion for urban poverty and the economics of race and class. I've worked for WCMU public radio in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and had my work on NPR. More recently, I was the public housing reporter at the Chi-town Daily News. I'm also a professional modern dancer with the Chicago company think/dance collective. My professional goals include making the news less boring, bulldozing the inverted pyramid and helping fellow reporters connect with pop culture. Feel free to email me your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.

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