I call myself a “Public Defender” because the very concept of “public” is under threat in America and in my home city, Chicago. Somehow the notion of “public” has become a dirty word and has been de-valued. Oddly, as “public school” teachers have become demonized and public services slashed we see the private sector greedily lusting after our public assets for private monetization. We need MORE public, not less.
- Here is my take on the push for privatization in Illinois from “On The Commons.”
- Here is what I wrote about Chicago’s Infrastructure Trust for the Huffington Post – “Don’t Trust the Trust!“
- I was quoted in this article from The Nation Online, “On Privatization’s Cutting Edge.”
- Here is a presentation that sums up my alarm about privatization. The audio is 47 minutes:
Here’s a great web site with many essays and resources on the commons – http://onthecommons.org.
David Bollier is a major thinker and educator around issues of the commons.
Here’s a nifty video that helps explain the commons:
Here’s a three minute definition in song form by Portland musician, David Rovics.
Over the past four years I’ve devoted most of my civic work to defending the commons from rip-offs, encroachments, sell-offs and privatization deals from corrupt local government.
- In 2008 I was a co-founder of Protect Our Parks which stopped the privatization of part of Lincoln Park, defeating the Latin School Land Grab.
- In 2009 I was one of the organizers for No Games Chicago, an all-volunteer coalition of activists and concerned citizens from across the city who worked to stop the 2016 Olympics from bankrupting the city and destroying priceless public parks.
- In 2010 I was the Green Party candidate for Cook County Board President and ran on a platform of reform, innovation and social justice. One of my positions was to work for the abolition of Tax Increment Finance Districts in Cook County. I established a separate web site to explain how these billion dollar rip-offs work.
- Over the past few years I’ve written and spoken extensively on the need to monitor and stop the push to privatize public space, services and assets. Here is a presentation I gave at the Chicago HQ of the Service Employees International Union on June 23, 2012.