Foreclosure rates in Illinois are beginning to fall, but many are still struggling to recover from the recession, especially those who were affected when the housing bubble burst. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about new foreclosure policies in Illinois meant to fast track the sale of vacant properties to help our local economies and families recover from the foreclosure crisis. As the state’s foreclosure rate remains stubbornly high, we’ll also examine how big of a problem foreclosures continue to be in East Central Illinois and talk with Reverend Eugene Barnes, the founder of Metanoia, a community group based in Champaign, who has taken it into his own hands to help struggling families keep their homes. Geoff Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Housing Services at DePaul University also joins us.
Ireland holds the European Union’s rotating presidency until June of this year and officials are making it a priority to address the Eurozone Debt Crisis and grow trade and opportunities for enterprise. This hour on Focus, host Craig Cohen talks with His Excellency Ambassador Michael Collins, Ireland’s ambassador to the United States. We’ll talk with him about the country’s debt problems, Ireland’s presidency, the role the EU is taking in turmoil in Syria, and how he manages Ireland’s relations with the United States. The ambassador will be speaking on campus at the University of Urbana-Champaign on Friday, February 15. Find more information here.
Is the new Illinois cigarette tax really helping to deter people from smoking? Would a ban on sugary drinks and soda really help curb the obesity epidemic? Does offering incentives like money or candy motivate children to perform better in school? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about what influences our behavior. We'll delve into the idea of a “sin” tax, why we use them and if they have an impact on our decisions with Professor of Economics at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the UIUC Fred Giertz. Edward Deci, a Professor of Psychology and Social Sciences at the University of Rochester, also joins the program to answer questions about peer pressure, money as a motivator, stereotypes and how the world around us affects how we act and the decisions we make.
On today's show, we turn our attention to the history of and issues surrounding Illinois’ pension debt. We’ll talk about how our state found its way into such a massive debt obligation, some of the issues lawmakers are working through right now in Springfield, and what might ultimately be the best way forward to meet that debt and sustain the state’s public pension system.
Since the beginning of his career in journalism eight years ago, Jose Vargas has written hundreds of stories — including covering the 2008 presidential campaign for The Washington Post; profiling Al Gore for Rolling Stone and Mark Zuckerberg for The New Yorker; writing and producing a documentary on the AIDS epidemic in the nation's capital; and winning a Pulitzer Prize for helping cover the Virginia Tech massacre. A little over a year ago, Vargas wrote a groundbreaking essay in the New York Times Sunday Magazine revealing his "undocumented immigrant" status. Since then, he founded Define American and has worked to facilitate dialogue about the DREAM Act and immigration issues.
This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, October 26, 2012, 10 am
Our show will be dedicated to the subject of gun violence after Friday’s shocking Connecticut school shooting. We’ll look at how the shooting may impact America’s conversations about guns and safety. We'll also discuss the recent court ruling striking down Illinois’ concealed carry ban, and what it means for the future of gun laws in Illinois. And we'll welcome your thoughts - about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, about what it says about our society, and about what, if anything, it tells us about our feelings towards guns. Guests will include Richard Pearson, director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, and Jerry Belair of Stop Handgun Violence, an organization promoting gun safety.
The sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams fought for George Washington, served with Abraham Lincoln in Congress, witnessed Bunker Hill, and as a staunch opponent of slavery, foresaw that slavery would lead to civil war between the North and South. He is, in fact, the only major figure in American history who knew both the founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln. He negotiated an end to the War of 1812, engineered the annexation of Florida, and won the Supreme Court decision that freed the African captives of The Amistad. He served his nation as minister to six countries, secretary of state, senator, congressman, and president. His opposition to slavery inspired John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage. Yet he remains one of the least-known presidents in our nation's history. We'll talk with biographer Harlow Giles Unger about John Qunicy Adams.
We'll discuss the outcome and ramifications of the 2012 election, from the President to local races. Our guests are John S. Jackson, Visiting Professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University; and Brian Gaines, professor in the department of Political Science and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois.
Allan Lichtman, Distinguished Professor of History, College of Arts and Sciences, American University
John S. Jackson, Visiting Professor, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University
Host: Craig Cohen
It's a natural tendency, each Presidential election year, to compare how the campaign is playing out to what happened during previous elections. How is 2012 like 2008? 2004? While every election brings its own issues, and conditions, and the electorate itself changes, there may well be some lessons to be learned from recent history, that can tell us why this year’s campaign is playing out as it is. We’ll explore parallels between the 2012 Presidential election and elections from the past 50+ years.