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10 Stories to Read Right Now

Fact-checking Pritzker’s unemployment claims, another housing debate near the Obama Center, and three days eavesdropping in the Loop.

J.B. Pritzker   Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune

1. Life and Death on the Streets

For nearly five years, photographer Lloyd DeGrane has ventured out with his camera to put a face on homelessness. Chicago has a gallery of the people he met on the streets.

2. “A Fait Accompli”: How the Central Administration Has Consolidated Power and Deflected Dissent at the University of Chicago

A nine-part series on changes at U of C under president Robert Zimmer. The Chicago Maroon says Zimmer has aggregated authority in “an increasingly centralized administration.”

3. Should Illinois Split From Chicago? These Residents Are Gathering Signatures.

Once again, Downstaters are trying to kick our county out of Illinois. “The people of southern Illinois, Central Illinois, we have different beliefs than Chicago,” a petitioner tells Bloomington’s Pantagraph.

4. Illinois Is Not Losing Its Highly Taxed Residents

“We’re taxing residents away” is a simplistic explanation for Illinois’s population loss. Chicago found that the state is getting richer, even as it shrinks.

5. As Chicago Officials Plan to Unveil Plans for Managing Housing Around the Obama Center, Debate Reveals How Complicated It Is to Transform a Community

Planners and politicians still haven’t figured out how to uplift the neighborhood while ensuring a place for long-time residents. “It’s always been about protecting the class of people who live in the community,” Ald. Jeanette Taylor tells the Tribune.

6. Notes From a Compulsive Eavesdropper

Tom Chiarella spent three days listening in on conversations around the Loop. Here’s what he learned.

7. Fact Check: Pritzker Says Illinois’s Unemployment Rate Dropped More Than Other Big States

Over a year, Illinois’s unemployment rate fell from 4.3 percent to 3.7 percent, the biggest drop of the 20 largest states. Despite that, says the Better Government Association, other states still have less unemployment.

8. To and From the Common Brick: Slow-Motion Disaster on Chicago’s South Side

Flooding is destroying the classic Chicago brick of Chatham’s bungalows. South Side Weekly republishes the Center for Humans and Nature’s recent look at the decay.

9. Ethics Reform Starts With a Truly Independent Map

As a candidate, Gov. J.B. Pritzker called for a constitutional amendment to end gerrymandering. The Tribune edit board hold him to his promise.

10. The Best Chicago Albums of the 2010s

The Reader polled dozens of critics in what they call “an absolutely indisputable ranked list of several hundred records that will definitely not start any arguments.” Read it here.

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