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COMMENTARY: Toward a Living Wage

It is unfathomable that the federal minimum wage has not been increased in more than a decade, since 2007. That the wage, at $7.25 per hour, has remained flat through recession and recovery, through extremely high unemployment rates and much ...

Threats to Medicare continue in 2019

Medicare faces numerous threats in 2019. It's time for lawmakers and healthcare to attack these challenges head-on. One threat stem from the Trump administration, which has suggested weakening the so-called protected classes provision in Medicare "Part D." Medicare's Part D ...

Political and policy skills are merging

Here’s a surprise: the skills that can be used to win in politics are increasingly the skills needed to produce good policy. I know. You look at the policy stalemates in Washington and wonder how this could be. The people ...

Jobs Report Shows What ‘African Americans Have to Lose’ Under Trump

The latest report from the U.S. Labor Department has provided still another answer to the infamous question of “What the hell do [African Americans] have to lose?” That question, of course, was posed by Donald Trump during his successful run ...

Wayne’s Words: Joliet Water

The City of Joliet Environmental Commission (the water commission) continues to trudge on towards a decision regarding the future source of drinking water for Joliet residents and perhaps other residents beyond its borders. In fact, that is one of the ...

Accountability makes good government

As various House committees gear up for a season of investigations and hearings on President Trump and his administration, a lot of people are worried that progress on the nation’s challenges will grind to a halt. I would argue just ...

The Republican Party and C-PAC’s continued infatuation with minstrel shows

Having just concluded the nation’s month-long celebration of Black History, the Republican Party and the conservative movement had one of the most disastrous months in my lifetime. I have warned anyone who will listen that race will be the most ...

Wayne's Words: Joliet VOTE April 2

The Consolidated Election is almost upon us. On April 2 voters in Will County will choose people to represent them on school boards, park districts and municipal boards, in most cases, for the next four years. It seems as if ...

COMMENTARY: The tax surprise

The mainstream news has been covering an interesting story. People who were expecting significant tax refunds are, in very large numbers, either getting a minimal refund, no refund or having to pay the IRS. This, after Donald Trump—promised a massive ...

COMMENTARY: Standing on the Right Side of History

One of the best skits that ever appeared on comedian Dave Chappelle’s hit television show, the Chappelle Show, was one called “When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong. ”Each skit would highlight the outcome of what would happen to individuals who ...

In politics, you need priorities

It’s been many decades now, but I still remember a piece of advice I got not long after entering Congress. It came in passing from a prominent journalist as we were talking about the bewildering array of issues Congress faced. ...

Wayne's Words: Minimum wage debate

An increase in the minimum wage paid to workers always sparks debate among those who see it as the demise of small business and the loss of profit for big corporations. Generally, the debate centers on those who depend on ...

Think Big Illinois celebrates signing of minimum wage increase

Think Big Illinois Executive Director Quentin Fulks released the following statement after Governor JB Pritzker signed SB1, which increases Illinois’ minimum wage, into law: “More than 40% of our workers just received a well-deserved and long-overdue raise, which is why ...

National Commentary: It’s time to stop marginalizing some students in public higher education

Students across the country are putting final touches on their applications for some of our country’s most prestigious public institutions. Higher education officials and policymakers alike need to ensure that these universities are not underserving Black students. Unfortunately, there’s a ...

Joliet natural gas customers paying more for others’ benefit

Nicor natural gas customers in Joliet and the surrounding area are subsidizing utility expansion elsewhere in Illinois, and paying higher rates as a result. What’s more, they will be paying these higher rates for decades – all without understanding the ...