Legislative Remapping

Some Illinois Democrats suggest that the legislative remapping initiative would have a negative impact upon minorities, as well as elect Republicans and reduce the middle class.

Others have criticized the current approach for reducing the number of competitive elections. For example, the elections last November had only one option for almost 6 in 10 (58%) races for the Illinois House and almost half had no opponent in both the primary and general election. This remapping initiative, they maintain, will reassign responsibility for these maps from politicians to people, which will allow them to form coalitions to elect representatives not from party affiliation but from particular interests.  Continue reading “Legislative Remapping”

Privacy Today

Both Hillary Clinton and former University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise have been criticized for using personal email accounts for public business, which raises some intriguing issues about twenty-first century privacy.

Although Clinton’s intentions are perhaps less explicit, Wise’s seem to have included a desire to maintain confidentiality even though the official university position had been that personal accounts, when used for university business, are still subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations. These regulations in Illinois have nothing explicit about personal email accounts, but a 2012 state appellate ruling upheld an attorney general opinion that FOIA does apply to personal devices and machines in instances of official business.  Continue reading “Privacy Today”

Run Donald Run

After listening to arguments about gender equity and economic elitism at the university, I returned late to find my teens watching a recorded version of the first Republican debate. As I unpacked my bag, I overheard these aspiring leaders advocate closing our borders, for instance, sanctioning certain marriages, and defunding Planned Parenthood. Although I nodded in the background when some criticized the amount of personal data collected by the government, I wonder, despite a desire to understand other perspectives and find common ground, how to imagine unity across such diversity.

Commencing College

Commencement speakers seem to offer variations on the same themes, at least at all the graduations I’ve attended, and then comes an interminable march of graduates across a stage where they shake hands with administrators and teachers. That is a perfect time to consider why they’re, and we’re, there anyway.

Almost everyone (96%) believes, according to a recent Gallup-Lumina poll, that a postsecondary education is important. At the same time, many believe that it is unaffordable for everyone who needs one (79%) and that it needs to change to meet students’ needs better (80%). Continue reading “Commencing College”

Where We Live

The time has come, according to my kids’ principal, to play the residency verification game again.

This year will be the third time playing this game, and I’m no more excited than I was the first two times.

He doesn’t just want me to tell him where I live. He also doesn’t want me to affirm what they have in their files. No, he wants me to prove it over and over and over and — I kid you not — over again. Continue reading “Where We Live”