The 21st Show

Why Is Illinois Shrinking?; 911 iPhone Location Tracking; The Divide At SIU; State Politics


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On the 21st: This fall, some iPhone owners in Chicago will automatically share their location data with first responders if they call 911. Plus, we discussed the divide at Southern Illinois University between its Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses, and we got the latest in state politics. But first: what's really causing Illinois to lose residents?

You’ve likely seen the headlines about how much our state has been slowly losing residents. In 2016 Illinois lost more than 37,000 residents - that’s more than any other state. There are some popular explanations out there for this: everything from taxes that are too high, regulations that are too unfriendly for businesses and a pension system that’s overrun with debt.

We wanted to know if when it comes to people leaving Illinois if the numbers match all the excitement? Or have we become a little too “the sky is falling” when we say “the population is falling.”

The Better Government Association recently reported on this, and Senior Editor Bob Secter joined us today. Rob Paral was also on the line. He’s a demographer and a fellow in the Global Cities Program of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.


Every year, 70 percent of 911 calls across the country are made from cell phones. That number is even higher in the City of Chicago and other urban areas.  Starting this Fall, if you call 911 on an iPhone in Chicago, you’ll automatically share your location data with first responders.

Chicago is just the latest of a host of other cities across the country who have been implementing similar technology over the past couple of years.

To talk more about this, Ally Marotti, reporter for the Chicago Tribune. joined us today.


For more than sixty years, Southern Illinois University has had two campuses: Carbondale and Edwardsville.

Much like the U of I system, these campuses have their own faculty and students, but are led by one president.

That president - Randy Dunn was nearly suspended last month for four months by his own board of trustees. Four out of the eight members voted to put President Dunn on leave for 120 days - and they say that he’s been trying to undermine the SIU system by favoring Edwardsville over Carbondale. The other four voted against them.

For more on this, we were joined by Jennifer Fuller, associate director for News and Public Affairs at WSIU Public Broadcasting in Carbondale. 


Gov. Rauner is under fire from his political opponents for what he said about black lawmakers - speaking of which, he also has another opponent in the race for governor.

And - even though the legislative session has ended, lawmakers are holding hearings over the issues of Chicago public school students being sexually abused.

It’s our regular conversation around state politics - to break all of this down, we were joined by Chicago Tribune Political Reporter Rick Pearson and the Peoria Journal Star’s Chris Kaergard.


Story source: WILL