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.
This seven minute video lays out my point of view.
- 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.