The 21st Show

Lt. Gov. Stratton And Criminal Justice; Male Preschool Teachers; World’s Fair Vase Found

Lieutenant Governor Stratton at Inauguration

Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, speaking after being sworn in on January 14, 2019. Vishesh Anand/Illinois Public Media

On the 21st: We speak with Juliana Stratton, our new lieutenant governor. She’s tasked with leading the state’s efforts to change our criminal justice syste - and, we'll hear from the community organization First Followers on how to best help people who have been incarcerated. Plus, just 2% of Illinois preschool teachers are men. What's behind that? And, you might be surprised to hear that the 8-foot tall “lost vase” from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair has been a California seafood restaurant.

Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton runs a new office called the Office of Criminal Justice Reform and Economic Opportunity. We had a chance to speak with her yesterday about that and the approach she plans to take as she holds this office.

We also spoke with Marlon Mitchell, co-founder of First Followers. They’re a community organization run by volunteers in Champaign that supports formerly incarcerated people and their families.


One thing most educators agree on is the importance of early childhood education. But there’s a shortage of teachers around the state. One solution, suggests Chalkbeat reporter Cassie Walker Burke: Men. Especially men of color.

As it stands now, men account for less than 2 percent of licensed teachers in certified childcare centers. That’s according to a 2017 report from the Illinois Network of Childcare Resource Referral Agencies.

And if you’ve had a child in preschool recently, this is probably not a surprise to you. Think of the last time you saw a man in the classroom. Or more rare- men of color.

Cassie Burke wrote about this for Chalkbeat Chicago where she’s the Bureau Chief and she joined us on the line from Chicago. 

Lee Tate is one of those rare male teachers at an early childhood center in Hyde Park called the Chicago Child Care Society. Genevra Walters is the Superintendent of District 111 in Kankakee - this is an issue that she’s been working on. 


Not much remains from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. We have the Museum of Science and Industry. And some artifacts - many now located at The Field Museum.

More than 27 million people attended the exposition during its six-month run. And some of those people would have passed by a set of three huge Japanese ceramic pieces on display. They were made especially for the fair by Japanese artists.

Two of those pieces are at Oxford University. But for years, the location of the third - a vase - remained a mystery. Now, it’s been found. Not in a private collection or in a museum. Instead... at a  seafood restaurant in Berkeley, California.

Alicia Spenger’s family started Spenger’s Fish Grotto back in 1890. She joined us on the line from Berkeley to tell us more of her story. Deric Torres also spoke to us from the Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, California.

Story source: WILL