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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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City’s organizing community restless

Rauner v. Quinn. It’s going to be a long, hot season. The class war of the Nov. 2 election campaign was declared primary night. The polls were barely closed when Gov. Pat Quinn slammed out of the box with stark TV ads attacking Bruce Rauner’s …

Vote Tuesday or blame yourself

The primary election came up on a ride on the Halsted No. 8 bus the other day. The older gentleman lounging near the door nodded his military-style khaki cap. “Not many choices,” he said. “I might just write down Harold Washington.” The CTA bus driver …

Only 3 gay newcomers on ballot

The earth has not opened up. Lake Michigan is still in place. And nary a peep from the pulpit. Last fall, the Illinois General Assembly approved the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, and Gov. Pat Quinn signed it into law. It provides same-sex couples …

Political upstart has powerful friends

‘He’s remarkable. You have to meet him,” the political operative told me last summer. The caller was pushing a candidate in his first run for office. A young man who was raised by a hard-working single mother in gritty Austin on Chicago’s West Side, graduated …

Big spotlight on down-ballot race

Travis vs. Mitchell. It may be down-ballot, but it’s definitely marquee. The spotlight is hot and harsh on the contest for Chicago’s 26th District. Freshman State Rep. Christian Mitchell is facing a stiff and vocal challenge from Jay Travis in the March 18 Democratic primary. …

LGBTs taking nothing for granted

History is a curious thing. We want to honor our history, but to preserve it, we must make it stick. Illinois’ gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender community celebrated history Feb. 8 at the annual Equality Illinois gala. About 1,400 LGBTs and supporters packed the Hilton …

Biden bid contingent on Hillary

‘There may be reasons I don’t run, but there’s no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run.” There you have it. The august words of Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. to CNN last week, when asked about his presidential prospects. Biden …

Clang, clang, clang, we need trolleys

LAURA WASHINGTON: Chicago is my hometown, but as Tony Bennett croons, San Francisco has my heart. As I meditated to the tingling trolley car bells, I wondered how I might squeeze San Fran into the roller bag and take it home. Or at least borrow some of what they do so well.

Progressives have just 1 option for a de Blasio-style triumph in Chicago

It’s a tale of two cities. A tale of two movements, and two mayors: Rahm Emanuel and Bill de Blasio. Chicago and New York City reside in parallel universes. Their politics are overwhelmingly democratic, but moving in different directions. One left, one right. De Blasio …

Fat Nag rooting for Chris Christie

If he can pull it off, Chris Christie is presidential material, says the Fat Nag. I’m not talking about overcoming the rolling investigations, allegations and predictions emerging from the twin “BridgeGate” and “SandyGate” scandals. Christie must get the fat out. In recent weeks, Christie has …

Economy may be stuck in slow lane for long run

WASHINGTON — In the 4½ years since the Great Recession ended, millions of Americans who have gone without jobs or raises have found themselves wondering something about the economic recovery: Is this as good as it gets? It increasingly looks that way. Two straight weak …

Rauner: the Romney of 2014?

Americans ogle, admire and envy the rich and successful. They don’t necessarily elect them. Ask Mitt Romney. Bruce Rauner could be the Romney of 2014. A major factor in Romney’s loss of the 2012 presidential election was a video that showed him writing off 47 …

FACT CHECK: Less than meets eye in Obama speech

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama promised to clear red tape away from highway projects that actually are stalled because there’s no money for them, not because rules are in the way. He’s ordering a higher minimum wage for a sliver of the workforce, which …

GOP focuses on empowering Americans, not gov’t

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers on Tuesday offered a kinder, gentler vision of Republicans who are determined to empower Americans, not the government, and close the gap “between where you are and where you want to be.” Tapped to deliver the GOP response …

African Americans 1st in new media

In the digital world, black folks rule. We are all too familiar with the bad numbers for African Americans. We know the stats showing we suffer from perniciously persistent unemployment, poverty, crime and incarceration rates. Black Americans tip the scale on the prevalence of obesity …

Resolutions — for other people

It’s the time of year for new beginnings, dear readers. I made a list, and checked it twice, of resolutions for 2014. To President Barack Obama. Enough already of the mea culpas on the disastrous rollout of Obama care. Resolve to get your health care …

Mail carriers deserve our thanks

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds. And the postman always rings twice. The explosion of online shopping and for-profit competition raises questions about the future of the U.S. Postal Service. The business pages report that …