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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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Black voters darn smart in Mississippi

LAURA WASHINGTON: For the first time in nearly two generations, African-American voters in the South helped swing a GOP election, nominating a white, old-line Republican pol to the U.S. Senate. In Mississippi. No wonder Limbaugh’s knickers are in a knot.

Disparaging the president is uncalled for

‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” the song goes. It is easy enough to spell, but for some vocal critics of President Barack Obama, it seems exceedingly hard to do. As the president moves toward the land of the lame ducks, his political enemies are calling for blood. That’s no …

Rauner’s rainbow pitch off target

It’s about the company you keep. Illinois GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner wants minority voters to know they are in good company. His opponent, Gov. Pat Quinn, is exquisitely reliant on the minority vote. If Rauner can chip away 10 or 15 percent of that …

Just say where you stand, Bruce

When it comes to mixing partying with politics, no one does it better. June 1 was marriage day in Illinois, the biggest day in gay rights history. The corks were popping, and so was the political rhetoric. On Sunday the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender …

Hillary brings her show to Chicago

LAURA WASHINGTON: The Hillary Clinton bandwagon pulls into Chicago next week as she launches her latest adventure in self-promotion. Clinton’s book signing and speech confab June 10-11 is already blowing out of the headlines. It will be the first stop to push her new memoir, “Hard Choices.” To say she will arrive with a head of steam is an understatement.

Here’s your say on Karen Lewis

Last week, I wrote about Lewis’ mission to unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel and conquer obesity. Readers weighed in. Most were polite — but no fans of Lewis.

Karen Lewis gets in fighting shape

They want him gone. If his re-election bid were held today, just 29 percent of registered voters would support Mayor Rahm Emanuel, according to a new poll commissioned by the Chicago Sun-Times. Karen Lewis is on it. The Chicago Teachers Union president is Emanuel’s most …

Listen to The Nag, Gentlemen

Take a few minutes. The Nag regularly rants in this space about staying healthy. All of us, and African-Americans especially, make too many unwise choices about our health. We suffer from high rates of maladies from obesity to diabetes to cancer, and it’s killing us. …

Mayor stirs summer of discontent

It’s Rahm Emanuel’s hot mess. Crime is out of control, the summer is close at hand. The mayor faces heated discontent from unions, education activists and parents, particularly black folks. A year ago, Emanuel and his school board closed almost 50 public schools; most served …

News gives homeless short shrift

They are everywhere, yet invisible. Huddled in a bus shelter, sprawled on the sidewalk, digging in a garbage can, living under a viaduct. We walk, sprint and stumble by. We might offer the guy a buck, but we won’t look him in the eye. Homeless …

Lost story of Vivian Maier’s photos

The documentary “Finding Vivian Maier” suggests there are many fascinating stories percolating just under the surface of ordinary life. You just have to look. Vivian Maier looked. The film, now showing in Chicago, tells the story of a nanny who lived and worked on Chicago’s …

Three Dems fear politics of taxes

Who gets it done first? Who will pay? Those are the big questions for Pat Quinn, Toni Preckwinkle and Rahm Emanuel as they converge on solutions to our pension crisis — and how to pay for it. Illinois politicians have long been a national butt …

Aldermen targeted by progressives

It’s April, spring is in the air, and hope springs eternal. Every spring comes two, perennial hopes, hopes Chicago knows best. One: A wish and a prayer, that this is the year, for my beloved Chicago Cubs. Back to that later. The other: A hope …

Missing plane lesson: Life is cheap

Life is cheap. Even 239 lives. For four weeks, the world has been transfixed by the horrific disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370. The mystery deepens daily, the search increasingly desperate. As the stakes grow, nations around the world have responded with aid and …

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 …