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Laura S. Washington biography

Laura S. Washington, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times , brings more than two decades of experience as a non-profit professional and multi-media journalist who …

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Chicago: city of political curveballs

‘Be prepared for a curveball.” That was the advice Kurt Summers heard from his boss, Michael Sacks. Sacks, of Grosvenor Capital Management, is a confidant of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Summers had been summoned to City Hall. Emanuel’s pitch: to appoint Summers the next treasurer of …

A few hardball questions for Rauner

Bruce Rauner was all charm Tuesday night at the Four Seasons Hotel, working the well-heeled crowd at a dinner gala. The gubernatorial candidate greeted me at the cocktail reception, all smiles and quips. I was taken aback, since his campaign has severely limited access to …

A vicious battle for the black vote in governor race

The battle for the black vote in Illinois in the 2014 gubernatorial election may be the most animated and vicious ever. Last Tuesday the contretemps came to a head as Gov. Pat Quinn and businessman Bruce Rauner debated at the DuSable Museum of African American …

Feeling OK about 100K new voters

Politics is a numbers game, and the digits are getting bigger all the time. The contenders in Illinois’ gubernatorial race may spend $50 million-plus by Nov. 6, a state record. There’s Gov. Pat Quinn’s controversial, $54.5 million anti-violence program. A ballot referendum is calling for …

Fat cats, banjo players and mud slingers go at it on Nov. 4

It’s less than a month to the November elections and a tasty time to nosh on pre-election tidbits: On the Nov. 4 marquee is the governor’s race, which has devolved into a morass of mud-slinging and character assassination. Few offerings about how to address Illinois’ …

No black agenda on election table

“There’s no strength left in the world of men. They’re scattered, divided, leaderless.” So pronounced Elrond, on the state of the Middle World, in “The Lord of the Rings” epic film trilogy. Scattered, divided, leaderless. Also an apt capsulation of the state of the African-American …

Look for a Fioretti & Lewis tango

We’re off! But we need more horses in the race. Second Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti’s Sept. 13 announcement of his candidacy marked the unofficial kickoff of the 2015 mayoral campaign. So far, Fioretti is the only boldface name with the hutzpah to take on Mayor …

Michelle for Senate? Talk about fun

Psst! Did you hear the one about Hillary Clinton? She is moving back to Chicago to run for the U.S. Senate? Oops — I mean Michelle Obama. It has a familiar ring. That tasty bit of political gossip was revived last week when Sun-Times Washington …

I saw no chubbies on JRW’s team

They did it. The players of Jackie Robinson West accomplished what the press conferences, White House promises, dueling statistics and police reinforcements could not. The winning Little League sluggers knocked Chicago out of the grip of violence and death and into the embrace of joy …

11th Ward’s no shoo-in for a Daley

Does a contentious Chicago City Council really want another Big Foot in City Hall? Is the 11th still your grandfather’s ward? Can progressives spoil the decades-long Daley party? Last week brought those questions, along with the first volley of the 2015 aldermanic sweepstakes, as Patrick …

Ferguson voters can throw the bums out

Throw the bums out. That should be the mission of the people of Ferguson, Missouri, as they examine and mourn the police shooting of Michael Brown. The noxious tear gas, righteous protests and heartbreaking loss of Michael will inevitably fade into history. There will be …

Karen Lewis faces a ‘triple threat’

LAURA WASHINGTON: ‘Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis has three steep hills to climb — a triple threat to her potential mayoral run: her looks, her style and her resume.

Dick Durbin takes a victory lap

He rolled up on a bicycle, dressed in a rumpled shirt and jeans. He locked the bike to a light pole on the North Halsted Street corner, plucked a blue blazer from a shopping bag, donned it, and stepped into the restaurant. That’s all there …

Preckwinkle freed to push reform

‘Imeant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful 100 percent!” It’s a line from a Toni Preckwinkle favorite: Dr. Seuss’ “Horton Hatches the Egg.” And it’s her answer to the persistent drumbeat: Will the Cook County Board president change her …

Standing up to the People of the Gun

It’s a picture-perfect summer day, bright sun, sparkling skies. And here I am, stuck waiting for another press conference in another stuffy meeting room. Up front stood a bundle of boys and girls, 25 or so, preschoolers in pigtails, strapping youths sporting football jerseys, assembled …

Will progressives flop again?

‘The Left Blows its Big Chance,” read the February 2011 headline. My column predicted that Chicago’s so-called progressives would fail in their crusade to win the 5th Floor of City Hall. Three weeks later, Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago. Will they blow it …

An architectural biennial for a South Side girl

In my day, there were no architectural biennials. “Going to Grandmother’s” loomed large in my childhood. Visiting her gorgeous apartment building at 4304 S. Forestville, in Bronzeville. Playing in the flowering courtyard, swinging on the huge iron gate garnished with elaborate, overlapping geometric circles and …