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Progress Illinois on the brink of extinction

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* Unless a funding angel comes through very soon, a widely read online publication will cease to exist

It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that Progress Illinois will be publishing its last article on December 31, 2014 due to a lack of funding.

With the goal of adding a progressive voice to Illinois political news, Progress Illinois launched back in March 2008 thanks to a founding sponsorship from the SEIU Illinois State Council.

Starting out as a small, unknown blog six-and-a-half years ago, Progress Illinois has blossomed into a major player in progressive news, shining a light on a plethora of relevant issues including: the battle to keep the Hartmarx factory open; the Republic Windows & Doors controversy; the offshoring of jobs at Freeport’s Sensata Technologies; the Golan’s Movers’ fight for unionization; the mistreatment of Teamsters’ workers at WaterSaver Faucet Co.; the firing of CPS parent and Whole Foods worker Rhiannon Broschat last winter; the push for marriage equality in Illinois; the Fight for $15; the Occupy movement; countless workers’ rights and community actions; numerous elections; and the Chicago Teachers Union strike, which marked the start of the progressive community’s formal push back against education reform. […]

With the exit of Progress Illinois, the Chicago online community will be dominated by outlets funded primarily by conservative sources. Barring the financial support of progressive institutions or individuals, PI will cease operations at the end of this calendar year, leaving a gaping hole when it comes to in-depth reporting on progressive issues and coverage of events important to Illinoisans. We hope to get some 11th hour support to keep the site going, so if you would like to see Progress Illinois continue, make some noise and help PI generate the funds needed to continue providing news that is underrepresented in mainstream media and relevant to the progressive community. Thank you for your years of readership and support, and please direct any questions regarding this matter to me, PI editor-in-chief Aricka Flowers, at

I actually have semi-regular contact with Fran Eaton over at Illinois Review, but for whatever reason I haven’t interacted much with the PI folks. In retrospect, I wish I had.

Those of us who do this online thing can be fiercely independent and even more fiercely protective of our own perceived turfs. It’s counterproductive, I think, but old habits die hard.

posted by Rich Miller
Thursday, Nov 20, 14 @ 3:58 pm


  1. Seems abrupt. Have a fundraiser and get some local Illinois Progressive faces to show up. Ask the President to come, he loves progress. He uses the word multiple times in almost every speech I have ever heard him give. What have you got to lose?

    Comment by Phenomynous Thursday, Nov 20, 14 @ 4:08 pm

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