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10 Stories to Read Right Now

The death of the Illinois GOP, a farewell to Coach Q, and some long-overdue love for Chicago artists

Kerry James Marshall   Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune

1. An American Suburb, 2018

The narrative of poverty in America typically conjures either rural towns or the “inner city.” In fact, the growing face of disinvestment, inequality, and stalled progress is in the suburbs — including ones right outside Chicago. WBEZ and the Better Government Association chronicle the crisis unfolding in Dolton.

2. RIP, Illinois GOP

What’s next for Illinois Republicans after taking a drubbing in the midterms? Chicago looks at the state GOP’s tough road ahead.

3. Kerry James Marshall Says He Is Done Making Public Artwork

The celebrated artist has left his mark on plenty of public spaces, but wants to move into his next chapter free from the compromises inherent in making public art. Chicago Tribune catches up with Marshall to learn what’s next.

4. Marian Hossa: Why Joel Quenneville Was My Favorite Coach Ever

The former Blackhawks star weighs in with a fond remembrance of “Coach Q,” who, despite helping the team to three Stanley Cup championships, was shown the door earlier this month. Hossa opens up for The Athletic.

5. Chicago Considers Wiping Away Old Ticket Debt for Motorists Who File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

A change to the city ordinance could be a boon to the Black and mostly low-income motorists who are commonly pushed into bankruptcy by ticket debt — and steer them away from bankruptcy filings that will only worsen their financial woes. ProPublica Illinois has the latest development.

6. Unions Helped Beat Scott Walker and Bruce Rauner, but Only After the Damage Was Done

Gov. Bruce Rauner won’t be around for a second term, but his legacy will include Janus v AFSCME, the Supreme Court case that is poised to dramatically reshape the landscape of public sector unions for years, if not decades, to come. HuffPost analyzes the impact.

7. Can Chicago’s Gentrifying Neighborhoods Grow Without Leaving Longtime Residents Behind? Oakland’s Fruitvale Village Offers Hope

Chicago’s affordable housing crisis may not be as dire as the Bay Area’s, but the threat of displacement for many longtime, predominantly Latino residents in rapidly-gentrifying Chicago neighborhoods is real — and worsening. But, as one Oakland neighborhood is trying to prove, it’s not inevitable. Block Club Chicago explores the plan.

8. The Overlooked Legacy of Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells is having a year. First a major street renamed in her honor, and next a monument. Almost 90 years after her death, the pioneering investigative journalist and activist continues to inspire and fascinate. South Side Weekly asks reporters, scholars, and historians to reflect on her impact.

9. 50 Years Later, Chicago Artists Are Getting Their Due

As museums slowly work to right the past wrongs of excluding Black artists from their exhibitions, a collection of futuristic, relevant, and inspiring works from the ’70s are part of the SMART Museum of Art’s new show. The New York Times explores the exhibition.

10. Michelle Obama Is Still Optimistic

With the release of Obama’s hugely anticipated memoir, Becoming, the former First Lady discusses her path from South Side upbringing to the life after the White House (and, of course, its current occupant). Elle snags the interview between the Chicago-raised former FLOTUS and Oprah.

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