ANNOUNCING SHORT-TERM PAID INTERNSHIP AT THE PUBLIC I
Champaign-Urbana’s alternative newspaper is seeking a social media intern to work with us for approximately one-semester. Paying $15.00 per hour, the overall goal of this position is to expand interest in the Public i on diverse social media outlets. More specifically, the position requires routine monitoring of the internet to determine sites whose audience would have interest in Public i articles, as well as posting to such sites descriptions of relevant Public i articles.
We estimate that the intern will spend about 2 hours a week on Public i tasks. One of our Editorial Collective will serve as a supervisor for the intern, but the individual can expect to work at home or wherever they have access to equipment required to complete required tasks. In addition, the intern would be asked to attend at least one Editorial Collective meeting per month.
Individuals interested in applying for this position should contact Pat Simpson at email@example.com.
THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS IS TUESDAY, JAN. 22, 2019.
Unofficial Dean of African American Students Albert R. Lee
The African American community in Urbana-Champaign and the University of Illinois community gathered this fall on several occasions to celebrate the life and contributions of an outstanding African American man: Albert R. Lee (1874-1948). Lee was the son of a slave, a church congregant in Bethel A.M.E. Church and the second African American employed by the University of Illinois, joining in 1895 as messenger in the President’s Office, and retiring in 1947 as Chief Clerk. Over years of service Lee made himself indispensable to the University, as he extended his tasks beyond clerical duties by counseling African American students and making right many classroom instances of racism. He is thus remembered as the unofficial dean of black students. A figure who resonated with diverse audiences, Mr. Lee held multiple other memberships: he was a registered Republican, an active Freemason, a local member of the N.A.A.C.P., and Sunday School District Superintendent. Lee worked cautiously toward closing the gap between an overwhelmingly white campus and local African Americans and out-of-state black folks wishing to get a college education at a school which, despite not offering them suitable (or any) housing accommodations or even access to campus restaurants, granted them admission and the promise of a future “without discrimination.” Continue reading
Manufactured homeowners taking action in support of affordable and healthy communities, economic and racial justice
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds discovered a lucrative new area of real estate investment, manufactured home communities (MHCs), and made millions by buying out older mom-and-pop operations and putting new profit-oriented practices into place. Soon after that they offered their first weekend business seminar to share their techniques: Mobile Home University. For $2000, potential investors could learn how to turn someone’s neighborhood into a profit stream by raising rent, adding new charges for utilities and services, simplifying operations by closing recreation rooms and laundromats, and filling empty lots with rental trailers—in some cases castoffs purchased from FEMA.
For investors, the strategy generates an impressive new revenue stream; but for the residents the experience has been dehumanizing, as neighborhoods are turned into someone else’s investment zone. And now that model has come to Champaign County. Continue reading
On the day Manuel went to have his electronic monitor cut off, he was feeling “uneasy” about being picked up by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It only took minutes for the sheriff’s deputy at the county jail to remove the clunky black box from his leg.
When a friend who was supposed to give him a ride did not show up, Manuel started walking with his wife and one-year-old son to get away from the jail. As they walked west down Main Street toward the Schnucks in downtown Urbana, he sensed that “something was going to happen.” When they got to Poplar Street, he noticed a parked minivan. Two men got out and approached them. Speaking in Spanish, one of them identified himself as an immigration officer, and told him he was under arrest. The man called him by his name and carried his mugshot. According to Manuel, they did not have a warrant. He was placed in handcuffs and put inside the van. Continue reading
If you’ve read Robert Caro’s biographies of Lyndon Johnson, you know what it’s like to be kidnapped by a historian who’s also a great story teller. The reading lamp burns late.
I’ve just finished a new book on Illinois history that will do the same thing for you. Continue reading
Polish boy carrying the logo of the ruling PiS (Law and Justice) Party at a pro-PiS demonstration
After the collapse of East European communist regimes, the watchword among Western European political elites and political scientists was “conditionality,” a term borrowed from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lexicon to express the terms upon which the new regimes could win coveted admission to the European Union (EU) and consolidate democratic capitalism. The EU expected an economic conversion compatible with EU regulations, but added a political requirement never imposed on the current membership, “respect for and protection of minorities.” Poland and Hungary, the countries that triggered the domino transition from Communism in 1989, were on the EU membership A-list. What went wrong? Why is the new watchword “democratic backsliding”? Continue reading
The midterm elections are over. Candidates have been elected and unelected. Ballot issues have been passed and rejected.
What hasn’t changed one iota, however, are the catastrophic harms to people, communities, the natural world and our republican form of self-government caused by the assertion of constitutional rights for corporations, and by political campaign money being defined as First Amendment-protected free speech. Continue reading
Power from the Sun. Photo by Robert E. McGrath
While renewable energy technologies have made tremendous strides in recent decades, financing and investment options for those who want to go green have remained scarce. The Clean Energy Credit Union (CECU), chartered by the American Solar Energy Association in 2017, aims to fill this gap.
It’s about time for some innovation on the financing side of Clean Energy; after all, it’s not as if this is a fringe industry. Even the World Economic Forum concluded in 2016 that solar and wind power would soon be the preferred choice for large-scale energy systems and small-scale clean energy technologies are providing increasing options appropriate for individual buildings and personal residences (On this topic, I recommend John Farrell’s report, “Is Bigger Best in Renewable Energy?”). Continue reading
If the confirmation hearings over the last couple of months haven’t focused attention on our courts, I’m really not sure what can.
But as much as the federal courts receive the attention of the media and our nation’s law schools, the truth is that the state courts—Champaign County Court, Piatt County Court, Macon County Court, etc.—and the Appellate and state Supreme Courts likely have a very strong impact on your and your neighbor’s daily lives in a more direct way than many of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions, or even Federal District Court and Federal Appellate Court decisions, do. Continue reading