City Club of Chicago: Windy City Election Forecast
March 28, 2019
Windy City Election Forecast – Maze Jackson, John Kass, Paris Schutz & Fran Spielman
Political strategist, media personality, and urban marketing pioneer, Maze Jackson has a diverse background of experience in the worlds of business, politics, and community engagement.
For over 25 years Maze has been lobbying for high profile clients, creating community-based solutions and driving the discussions that shape impactful policies. Maze has been featured on ABC, CBS, The New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, and a variety of other high profile media outlets, and can be heard daily on WVON 1690 AM on the WVON Morning Show. As VP of Business Development at The Intelligence Group, Maze focuses on utilizing his network of experienced vendors, institutional relationships, and effective tactics to create strategies that allow The Intelligence Group to achieve clients’ goals.
Paris Schutz is Chicago Tonight’s political correspondent. He is a three-time winner of the Peter Lisagor Award as Chicago’s “Best Television Reporter,” given by the nation’s largest chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Schutz began his career at WTTW as an intern after graduating Magna Cum Laude from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. In addition, Schutz is a pianist, singer and songwriter. Along with Chicago Symphony Orchestra trumpet player John Hagstrom, Schutz composed and performed Chicago Tonight’s theme music. Schutz also created, co-wrote, co-produced and wrote the theme music for “IL-Informed,” a political satire special that aired on WTTW. He is a three-time Emmy nominee and an alumnus of St. Ignatius College Prep on the near south side.
John Kass, the son of a Greek immigrant grocer, was born June 23, 1956, on Chicago’s South Side. He grew up there and in Oak Lawn. Growing up he held a number of jobs — merchant marine sailor, ditch digger, waiter — before becoming a film student at Columbia College in Chicago, where he worked at the student newspaper. He obtained an internship at the Daily Calumet in 1980, and ended up working there as a reporter until he left for the Tribune in 1983. He has won honors including the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi national award for general column writing, the Scripps Howard Foundation’s National Journalism Award for commentary, the Chicago Headline Club’s Lisagor Award for best daily newspaper columnist and the Chicago Tribune’s Beck Award for writing. He lives in the western suburbs with his wife and twin sons.
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 principal 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, and 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.