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Evanston, IL POP-UP NEWSLETTER: Ranked Choice Voting, 988 hotline, Participatory Budgeting, more

This newsletter is bookended by two quasi-personal items: (1) a continuing education course on “The 1960s” taught by my 1968 high school sociology teacher (and Evanston resident), and (2) a legacy list inspired by a journalist half my age who I hope, in turn, might be inspired by the truths I’ve stumbled across over the […]

Dear Annie Lowrey (and other practical journalists): FWIW, my Legacy List of Topics

I’m starting to wrap up my own life and legacy as a 71-year old grassroots activist, concerned citizen, and practical philosopher. Over the years, working on a wide variety of issues, especially in my cronehood, I’ve stumbled across a variety of missing links, gaps in our knowledge, obscure resources, and unknown activists. Taken all together, they’ve helped me […]

LEAFBLOWERS VS. SOIL: Best Climate Tactics for Evanston, IL & Elsewhere

These are the questions that frame my current climate and policy deliberations: How to stop over-producing, over-using, and over-working everything and everyone? How can everyone make a decent living and have a good life, too? What does our form of government have to do with these questions? What does declaring a climate emergency actually mean? […]

UPDATE CITY CODE to assure City Council accountability & shared knowledge base (Letter to Editor, Evanston, IL)

Thanks to the Evanston RoundTable for publishing this letter to the editor that I wrote in mounting frustration at the amount of damage control our City Council inflicts on itself (and the rest of us — voters, City staff, businesses, etc.) as the result of an outdated City Code. An extra thanks to editor Susy Schultz for […]

The Reality of all Realities: Biology and Liberation

DEDICATED TO MY PARENTS, who pulled the plug on our household television (c.1956) and never looked back. I was 5 or 6 years old, probably in first grade, with an older sister (8-9), younger sister (2-3), and one still to come. Unfortunately, I never got to delve into their deep reasoning. Nor were they particularly […]

EDIBLE ACRE at ETHS (Evanston, IL): A story of networking, political will, & community on behalf of a local high school

An article in the Fall 2021 newsletter (The Kit) of the Evanston Township High School Alumni Association spurred me to reflect on the process of creating a community project, in this case the 12-year old Edible Acre Pilot Project, an urban agriculture project at ETHS. This blog consists of three accounts of the birth and […]

FOOD SECURITY in Evanston, IL: Ideas for 2022, for Illinois, and Beyond

Thanks to Anne Sills for connecting some of us Evanston food & farm folks to a new food security initiative in Evanston that’s just getting started. The initiative (still to be decided and fleshed out) involves one of the local Rotary clubs and a cohort of Northwestern University students in SESP’s Civic Engagement Certificate program […]

WORKING THINGS OUT: Gender identity, violence against females, and language confusion in a Chicago-area high school and suburb

Like many high schools and communities around the world, the high school in my hometown is dealing with a set of interlocking crises and confusions that most of us (a) didn’t see coming, or (b) if we did see the complex set of issues coming, we were not well prepared for it. A recent open […]