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Ben Joravsky

Ben Joravsky

I moved to Chicago in 1981 and have been writing about local politics ever since. I started freelancing for the Reader in the early 1980s and became a full-time staff writer in 1990. Since 2003, I've zeroed in on larger citywide matters, with a special interest in exposing municipal financing scams, most notably tax increment financing and the the city's proposal to bring the Olympics to Chicago. I've also written dozens of profiles and features, including my year with the Roosevelt High School boys basketball team, which was included in the Best American Sports Writing Anthology. Over the last few years, Mick Dumke and I have collaborated on investigations exposing everything from the parking-meter-sale ripoff to our costly and unfairly enforced marijuana laws. I've written five books, including Hoop Dreams and The Greens, which I cowrote with Rick Stone. I've won many journalism prizes, including the 2010 Chicago Journalist of the Year Award from the Chicago Journalists Association and the 2010 Illinois Journalist of the Year Award from Northern Illinois University. Last but not least, I also write for The Third City, a daily humor blog that "rarely lies to the American people."
  • Good Times at Cabrini

    This summer a spontaneous reunion spurred a series of gigantic street parties for people who called the project home. No plans, no permits, no problems.
  • A Father's Love

    Pedro DeJesus might have a chance of beating Toni Berrios for state rep--if it weren't for Toni's dad and his arsenal of political weapons.
  • A for Effort

    George Schmidt made his point: the CASE test was worthless. But the quality of the test wasn't the issue in court.
  • Lesson Learned

    Teachers' union president Deborah Lynch showed the rank and file what they could accomplish if they stood up for themselves. And then, to her chagrin, they did.
  • Holy Terror

    A developer has come up with a novel approach to marketing the Near North Side: sell it on the basis of its collection of religious institutions. If Mayor Daley lets him have his way, more historic buildings in the newly christened "Cathedral District" wi
  • Unhappy Campers

    These Parts--A pristine 5,000-acre Boy Scout camp is going on the block, and some bereaved former scouts hope to keep it from developers.
  • The Lone Pamphleteer

    Mark Weinberg wins a battle in his ongoing war against any force that tries to silence him.
  • Test CASE/The Schmidt Report

    All public school kids are required to take the Chicago Academic Standards Examinations, but some teachers have decided they can't take it anymore.
  • The Guy Nobody Sent

    Pete Dagher will talk all night about cars and 70s rock. He might also mention that he's running for Congress against his old colleague Rahm Emmanuel.
  • PURE Joy

    With Vallas gone, a formerly isolated parents' group contemplates a new era.
  • Soldiering On/Running With the Demons

    All the people who matter want the stadium plan to go forward, but Patrick Quinn is counting the others--including those who want to keep the Bears from selling off the old name.