CivicLab Radio

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Welcome to CivicLab Radio – original podcasts covering a range of civic, change and policy topics. Meet some of the most effective and had working organizers in Chicago and learn about the issues they are fighting for.

The first set was produced by Peggy Xu, a media intern from the University of Chicago. Peggy Xu is a second-year student at the University of Chicago. At CivicLab Peggy was able to speak with co-workers there to create the first set of podcasts for CivicLab Radio – a seven part series that explores a wide range of issues and campaigns. If you would to produce civic podcasts for CivicLab Radio contact us at [email protected].



Program 001 – Fair Housing in Chicago (37 minutes)- Interview with Morgan Davis, Executive Director of the Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance.

  • References & Further Reading
  1. Crime Free Ordinances —
  2. How We Built the Ghettos —
  3. Separate, Unequal, and Ignored —
  4. How Segregated Is Chicago? —
  5. Manhattan Institute Report —
  6. Restrictive Covenants —
  7. The Great Migration —
  • Organization Website –
  • Music – “Procrastination Causes Death” by Freeplay Music (Composers Phillip Bright, Brennan Johnston)

Free_Marissa-painting Program 002 – Mass Incarceration (20 minutes) – Interview with Ayanna HarrisChicago Alliance to Free Marissa Alexander

2. NPR Coverage of Marissa Alexander –

3. Mandatory Minimums –

4. Racial Disparities in Drug Sentencing –

5. Post-Conviction Restrictions –

6. A Brief History of the Drug War –

7. Excerpts from the New Jim Crow –

  • Music: “Iced Up” by Freeplay Music (Composers Phillip Bright, Brennan Johnston)

NextGen IllinoisProgram 003 – NextGen Illinois (9 minutes)Interview with Grace Pai, Outreach Fellow with the Roosevelt Institute.

    • Organization Website:
    • Music: “Falling For You (Piano Version)” by Sean Fournier
    • Watch this brief intro video to the project:

TIF bulb-smallProgram 004 – Tax Increment Financing and the TIF Illumination Project (28 minutes) – Interview with Tom Tresser, Co-Founder of the CivicLab and lead organizer for the TIF Illumination Project


  1. TIF Primer —
  2. 2013 TIF Analysis —’s FOIA Request —
  3. TIFs’ impact on job creation & economic development —
  4. International Business Times article —
  • Music: “Building Blocks” by Freeplay Music (Composers Phillip Bright, Brennan Johnston)

Move_To_AmendProgram 005 – Move To Amend (23 minutes).


1. 40 Charts That Explain Money in Politics –

2. Campaign Finance After Citizens United –

3. A Guide to Political Donations –