Ed Wojcicki

edibles
Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois 91.9 UIS

In today’s legal marijuana market, there is more than just a typical joint to get high. There are cookies, gummies, weed-infused drinks and more. But, there are few studies available in the United States that examine the long-term effects of these different products.

Marijuana and criminal justice
Flickr: users memphislaw & temiraydisfruta, with adaptation

Politicians spearheading the effort to legalize recreational marijuana say revenue isn't the driving force. It's about promoting criminal and social justice for people of color who have been unfairly targeted by the war on drugs. But, prominent activists from minority communities question whether these lofty goals are possible. 

adapted photo from Heath Alseike/flickr

With growing support among politicians and the public, Illinois could likely legalize recreational marijuana as soon as next year. But, passing legislation may hinge on where the revenue will go. 

Marcia O'Connor, Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Hemp has been used for centuries to make rope, fishnets, paper, car parts, fuel and much more. It’s an unruly crop. It’s skinny, it’s tall, but what has made it controversial is that it’s a derivative of the cannabis plant.

A decade after that report, political money is still making us look bad, and there's no question that fundraising demands and practices are keeping good people from entering the political arena. That weakens and taints Illinois.

Columnist Bill McClellan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatchsuggested that the University of Illinois change its sports teams' name to the Fighting Corrupt Politicians "because of the state's colorful history in that regard."

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

A routine process becomes more significant when repeated 185 times. That’s how often Illinois Issues has received requests to reprint articles since 1992, the year I became publisher. An average of 18 such requests a year tells me the magazine is consistently useful. 

Now, as I leave the magazine, I can think of no greater compliment: What we publish makes a difference to an engaged community of readers. 

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Phillip Paludan says he can tell when public officials don’t respect citizens. We can tell what others think of us, he says, by the way they talk to us. Too many officials talk down to us, which suggests they don't respect our ability to think. Paludan's perspective is especially intriguing because he's among the top Lincoln scholars in the United States. He believes one mark of Lincoln¸s greatness was his insistence on taking the high road in his speeches. 

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

When Jim Edgar was governor, he had the opportunity to praise two people at one function. One was a mentor, Samuel K. Gove; the other was Al Grosboll, a member of his Cabinet. It was a snapshot of the way in which public servants nurture future leaders. 

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

I felt a bit uncomfortable strolling to the library lawn here at the University of Illinois at Springfield. It was September 14, the national day of prayer and remembrance, and I'm not used to gathering with colleagues for a solemn service. I didn't know what to expect. I wasn't sure of my role. 

I realized later that, in this context, I am a follower, along with millions of others. It's a role that many are not accustomed to. There are thousands of books on leadership, Garry Wills once wrote, but none on followership. 

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

You vote; nearly all of you do. You give money to political campaigns; most of you do.

Half of you have at least a master’s degree, and most of the rest of you have a bachelor’s degree.

We learned all of that in a recent survey of Illinois Issues subscribers. We are grateful to our business manager, Chris Ryan, for analyzing the results. It was our first readership survey in five years. I promised to tell you about those results, so I am summarizing them here.

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

As the summer heat sets in, my thoughts drift to baseball. They drift back 13 years, to 1988 when the Illinois legislature adopted a last-minute plan to build a new Comiskey Park for the Chicago White Sox. That prevented the Sox from moving to Florida.

Question & Answer: Audrey McCrimon

Jun 1, 2001

Audrey McCrimon

An assistant to the secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services, Audrey McCrimon has a variety of responsibilities that make her an advocate for persons with disabilities. She calls herself an "advocrat."

McCrimon was the co-recipient of the Motorola Excellence in Public Service Award in 2000. The award is co-sponsored by the North Business and Industrial Council and Illinois Issues.

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

We weren't alone in predicting that the big issues in this spring's legislative session might be rewriting telecommunications law, doling out education funding and drawing new legislative maps.

As you can tell from the Legislative Checklists in this issue (pages 8-9) and in recent months, the legislature has dealt with numerous other matters. Our new bureau chief, Aaron Chambers, has done an admirable job of following the action.

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

The last time we conducted a formal readership survey, in 1996, some of the results surprised me. I learned that almost half of you have at least a master's degree and that more than seven in 10 of you had contributed to a political campaign in the previous two years. And most of you vote every chance you get. So we have an educated and engaged audience. 

The information is old by marketing standards, so we're coming back to you this month. We're selecting a random sample of subscribers and conducting a survey by mail.

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Once or twice a year I got together with former Gov. William Stratton, who had been on the Illinois Issues Board since 1978. He liked to joke that government spaces ordinarily bear the names of dead people, but he already had three named for him: a government office building in Springfield, a state park near his hometown of Morris and a lock and dam on the Fox River.

Briefly

Apr 1, 2001
Olin Harris / Department of Natural Resources

Legislative checklist

The 92nd General Assembly kicked off the spring session with an ambitious load: 1,523 bills in the Senate and 3,618 bills in the House. By the end of March, committees had screened the bills and reported them back to their respective chambers, where lawmakers were deciding which ones to send across the rotunda this month. Only a portion of the proposed legislation - roughly 25 percent, by some estimates - will make it to the governor's desk. The legislature is scheduled to wrap up by the end of May.

 

Sentencing

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

One test of leaders' greatness, says presidential historian Michael Beschloss, is how much they live on in the minds and hearts of future generations. 

"Every American has a relationship with Lincoln," Beschloss says, and every child knows that Lincoln came from the wilderness and emerged an extraordinary leader. 

The Auburn Rotary Club disbanded last summer. The few remaining members were getting older and having trouble recruiting younger people. The club folded, a Springfield newspaper reported, "due to lack of interest." The collapse of Auburn's Rotary would not surprise Harvard scholar Robert D. Putnam. He would see it as part of a larger, alarming trend. His extensive research shows that membership in traditional organizations is on the decline everywhere and that Americans are less engaged in their communities, attending church less frequently and voting less often.

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

It's because of legislative sessions like the one just starting that our founders and the university knew how much our state needs Illinois Issues.

The focus on legislative redistricting will drip with partisanship, and some people might consider that dreadful. I don't. What's so wrong about partisanship affecting what we philosophically revere as a political process? On the other hand, legislators will consider important issues besides new maps this spring. And our staff will be on top of all of them.

Ed Wojcicki
WUIS/Illinois Issues

My feeling about this new year differs from the last few, when January 1 meant little more than waking up for another day. I sense more urgency, but maybe it's just personal. I mention two items on my own wish list: