Help Us Build A Citizens’ Agenda This Election Season

What civic issues are important to you right now? Let us know and help us focus our reporting.

What should your local elected officials be talking about?
Paula Friedrich / WBEZ
What should your local elected officials be talking about?
Paula Friedrich / WBEZ

Help Us Build A Citizens’ Agenda This Election Season

What civic issues are important to you right now? Let us know and help us focus our reporting.

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This year, WBEZ is covering the election season with your priorities in mind. We want to know:

“What do you want your Illinois elected officials to be talking about this election season?”

We’ll collect your answers, see which topics come up the most and focus our reporting around those topics leading up to November.

Here’s why we’re taking this approach:

  1. We serve you: WBEZ is a public-powered news station. Our reporting on-air and online is made possible by folks who choose to donate to their public media station, so we want to make sure our coverage follows the priorities of our public — not the priorities of campaigns or other interest groups.

  2. It’s not just any election season: Traditionally, we might decide what races to cover in an election season based on how competitive they are or the political maneuvering at play. This year, as COVID-19 has highlighted long-standing disparities in our society, we want to prioritize the information needs of the people most impacted. We’ve identified Chicago-area communities most affected by COVID-19 — both by infections and economic fallout — to make sure we hear from those people about what they care about — then focus our investigative and explanatory powers in that direction.

  3. We hold local leaders accountable: This year’s presidential election will be pivotal, but WBEZ’s strength is local news. As journalists, we have access to local candidates and local officials — and it’s our job to hold them accountable to their constituents. We’re here to ask questions of all elected officials — whether they’re in a race, running unopposed or not up for election. We also invite participation from all Chicagoans, regardless of citizenship status, to help us create content and tools that address civic engagement beyond voting.

So let us know: What do you want your elected officials to be talking about right now? What do you need to know to be an engaged member of our civic community?

We’ll use your answers to build our “Citizens’ Agenda” — five key focus areas for our reporting. We also hope to use your feedback to build tools to make it easier to be an engaged member of our city, our state and our country.