City Club of Chicago: A Crisis In Confidence – Police, Chicago Public Schools, Finances, Mayor’s Ability To Lead

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Dan Mihalopoulos, Mary Mitchell, and Fran Spielman during the A Crisis In Confidence: Police, Chicago Public Schools, Finances, Mayor's Ability To Lead panel at the City Club of Chicago, April 6, 2016 (City Club of Chicago)

April 6, 2016

A Crisis In Confidence: Police, Chicago Public Schools, Finances, Mayor’s Ability To Lead – Chicago Sun-Times’ Dan Mihalopoulos, Mary Mitchell, and Fran Spielman

Dan Mihalopoulos is an investigative reporter and political columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. His 2013 series about the UNO charter schools won the national Education Writers Association’s top award for investigative reporting and the Chicago Headline Club’s Watchdog Award. Before joining the Sun-Times in 2012, he worked for the Chicago News Cooperative (Chicago section of the New York Times), the Chicago Tribune and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Dan was born in Chicago and graduated from Maine West High School in Des Plaines and the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Mary A. Mitchell is an editorial board member and columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a recipient of numerous journalism awards, including the Award of Excellence from the National Association of Black Journalists; the Studs Terkel Award from the Community Media Workshop; the Peter Lisagor Award from the Chicago Headline Club; and in 2011, Mitchell was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame.

Mitchell earned a B.A. in journalism at Columbia College Chicago. She joined the Chicago Sun-Times as an education writer in 1991, and has covered City Hall and the U.S. Federal Courts.

Mitchell’s columns continually raise community awareness about important advocacy issues, including criminal justice, police misconduct, and race relations. In several instances, her reporting led state legislators to strengthen laws protecting the rights of women and children.

Today, Mitchell’s reporting often rallies African American readers to empower their communities by giving the voiceless a platform to address social ills, such as failing schools, abusive police, disparities in the criminal justice system and corrupt government officials.

Her column appears on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. She has written for several national publications including, Essence Magazine. From 2006 through 2010, Mitchell co-hosted a popular Sunday morning public affairs program on V-103. She is a is a frequent panelist on WTTW’s Week In Review, FOX-TV, and has appeared on national news programs, including Meet The Press.

Fran Spielman has been covering and analyzing Chicago mayors and city government since Richard J. Daley. Her City Hall beats have included Mayors Michael Bilandic, Jane Byrne, Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer, Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel.

Spielman joined the Sun-Times in 1985 after ten years at Chicago radio station WIND. When owner Westinghouse Broadcasting sold the station, she saw the opportunity to pursue her primary journalistic goal to work for a major newspaper.

She had started at WIND right out of Northwestern University–as a sports reporter, morning news producer, then full-time reporter–after covering football, basketball and tennis for the Daily Northwestern.

During her decade in radio, Spielman freelanced for the Chicago Daily News, at Crain’s Chicago Business, for “The Chicago Bear Report” and as a principle anchor and reporter of Channel 11’s Emmy Award winning sports show, “Time Out”.

Spielman is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame. In 2009, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Headline Club. A decade earlier, Spielman received the Dante Award from the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans.

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