Kari Lydersen

Kari Lydersen
31 POSTS 0 COMMENTS
Kari Lydersen is a staff writer out of The Washington Post midwest bureau and also freelances for publications including The Chicago Reporter and The Progressive. She is the author of three books, including “Revolt on Goose Island” (Melville House Press) released in June 2009. She also teaches Community News at Columbia College and teaches youth journalism in a non-profit program. www.karilydersen.com.

Despite Missing Out On NSP2, There’s Still Much Work To Do in Chicago Suburbs

Civic leaders and planners in the south and west Chicago suburbs were disappointed to learn that the regional collaborative proposals submitted by the Chicago...

Emerging from Chicago’s Shadow

Towns long in Chicago’s shadow have sought creative ways to collaborate for federal funding, while building off existing partnerships as part of a long-term approach to neighborhood, and regional, stabilization.

Gary Never Forgot: A Suffering Steel Town Clings to Jackson Legacy

The eyes of the world were focused on Gary, Indiana in the days following Michael Jackson’s June 25 death. People marveled at the tiny...

Fighting Foreclosure On All Fronts

While national coverage has subsided, a handful of immigrant families in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood are still fighting to stay in their foreclosed apartment building, and their story is simply part of a larger struggle in the country's third-largest city.

Despite Promises of Relief, Foreclosure Crisis Still Escalating

In the Chicago metro area as across the nation, even with various public, private and nonprofit relief efforts underway, the foreclosure crisis continues to...

Fighting Wage Theft

Monday brought the announcement of a record 70,000-plus jobs lost worldwide, from drug companies to automakers and everything in between.Meanwhile each year millions of...

The Inauguration: View from a Chicago Diner

At the risk of sounding cliché, hope was in the air as thick as the smell of grilling bacon and the steam from oatmeal...

Chicago Factory Occupation Victory Is Only The Beginning

In the past few days we’ve seen news of 3,500 jobs to be lost by the closing of U.S. Steel facilities in Illinois, Michigan...

Foreclosure Nightmare Continues for “Famous” Chicago Renters

Esteban Cruz digs his hands into a big plastic tub of letters and documents bundled and labeled by month.This mass of paper represents...

Infrastructure Woes or Opportunities?

Anyone who has wasted hours each day commuting to work, sat in traffic for an hour as a freight train inched by, waited endlessly...

Hope…of Curbing Climate Change

When the Environmental Law and Policy Center was founded in Chicago 15 years ago, cell phones that could get clear reception or send images...

Obama’s Chicago: A New Start

It was as if all of Chicago had one big ear-splitting grin Tuesday night. Even hours before polls had closed, people went about their...

Too Young to Vote, But Not Too Young to Engage

The Obama campaign headquarters were bustling five days before the election and two high school journalism students I brought there to report for their...

Renters Still Facing Foreclosure Evictions; Help Arrives, But Is It Enough?

Last week, I wrote about Cook County (Chicago) sheriff Tom Dart angrily suspending evictions of renters from foreclosed buildings; since many of these renters...

Chicago Sheriff Stands up for Renters

Losing a home to foreclosure is a nightmare, causing at least one person — Carlene Balderrama of Massachusetts — to commit suicide in recent...

A Green Job Renaissance?

Even decades after de-industrialization and outsourcing decimated the once-solid, well-paid, empowered blue collar union workforce of the Midwest, jobs are still being lost by...

Alaska’s Pebble Mine Vote the Same Old Catch-22: Jobs or Environment

Much attention has been on Alaska politics lately thanks to John McCain’s choice of Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, not...

Native Alaskans See Walrus Harvest Disappear with Sea Ice

Hunting walrus is an age-old tradition, part of the rhythm of life, for the native people of King Island, a tiny rugged island in...

Dirty Coal Takes Communities’ Breath Away

The brick smokestack towers above Chicago’s mostly Latino Pilsen neighborhood burns coal to provide electricity for much of the city while puffing out plumes...

Employment as Crime Prevention

With the hottest, often most violent, month of summer still to come, Chicago has logged record numbers of killings of public school students this...

New Orleans Voices

During my recent reporting in New Orleans for a story for Amnesty International on the continuing homelessness and displacement crisis, we saw the stark...

Down and Out in the Big Easy

“Homeless outreach!” calls out Mike Miller as he ducks through a busted wall to climb the steps of an abandoned house in New Orleans’...

Another Day in the Lower Ninth Ward

Sweat pours down Reginald “Trigger” Smith’s face as he cleans out a storage unit squeezed next to three FEMA trailers on his lot in...

Making Food Deserts Bloom

Finding fresh produce in low-income neighborhoods can be a struggle, but community efforts are striving to fill the void.

Instead of Blaming FEMA, We Need a National Safety Net

As the water rose in his Cedar Rapids home, Frank refused to leave, even when a FEMA boat pulled up to his porch. FEMA...

Taking Blame for the Floods

We stood at the end of a road leading into the waters of the Mississippi River, which had burst through a levee in Gulfport,...

Iowa: The Midwest Katrina?

“It looks like Katrina,” said a man stuck in traffic, his bare foot hanging out his car window, on the jammed freeway through Cedar...

Will Obama Fever Heal Black-Latino Relations?

The day before Obama’s thrilling clinching of the Democratic nomination, I met with a group of high school students at the Rudy Lozano Leadership...

Golf Course Wars in Benton Harbor

Golf courses have been lightning rods and symbols for class struggle around the world, as in Morelos, Mexico, where a golf course sucking up...
An image that says "Stop Gentrification in Pilsen."

Thrown into the Mix

“Mixed income” is the hot phrase in housing developments and neighborhoods across the country these days.It is the bedrock of the Hope VI...

Keeping Kukui Gardens

Faced with the prospect of losing their homes, residents of a Honolulu affordable-housing complex defied Hawaiian cultural traditions, getting organized and vocal and achieving a victory for affordability in one of the country's most expensive cities.