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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."
  • Middle-Class Living Room

    Aldermen risk Daley's wrath to insist on affordable space.
  • In Over Their Heads

    A new fee for lap swimming at Park District pools prompts a crusade by a couple of aquanauts. So far, the city doesn't seem to be listening.
  • Big and Beautiful

    Can anyone save the old Mercantile Exchange Building from the endless tide of development?
  • Streets and San Stole My Bike!

    While unsuspecting cyclists watched Radiohead in Grant Park, a city crew quietly made their propert disappear.
  • Killing Them With Kindness

    The CTA's improved access for the disabled may be just a smokescreen for deep service cuts.
  • Out in the Cold

    The city seems determined to make a disabled man's life even more difficult.
  • Home Owners Beware!

    Ever heard of a driveway tax. Neither had Mary Peavy, and it nearly cost her her house.
  • Stupid Move; WGCI Gets Religion

    Why is this state job-training office creeping father and farther away from the disabled clients who use it?
  • Jaws of Victory

    Lost, confused, hysterical: how one woman celebrated the Bulls championship
  • Battle Lines

    An unlikely coalition may wipe racist boundaries off the ward map.
  • Riders Looking Up Again

    The CTA reinstates some much-missed lines--of poetry
  • Foot Soldiers

    Where the Chicago Marathon goes, gentrification follows.
  • High and Dry

    The flood waters have receded, but home owners' anger over tardy relief is rising
  • Home of the Blues

    Six months into its new recycling program has Chicago really got it in the bag?
  • Bite of a Gadfly

    Public Library's New Calendar Draws Fire