We are committed to diversity and equality, to honesty and empathy, to giving voice to unheard communities and bolstering those in need, to recognizing and celebrating the qualities that unite us as Illinoisans.
One Illinois is a nonprofit statewide internet-only news outlet. We cover all things of interest to Illinoisans, as well as policy on major issues such as education, infrastructure, income inequality, employment, and the environment. These have increasingly become wedge issues in a political narrative meant to divide the electorate. Yet we maintain that, while it may feel partisan to talk about these matters, they are elements of everyday life we all have to confront. Thus, we reject the attitude that they're issues of left or right; rather, we believe the solutions lie in ourselves if only we work together and recognize that we rise and fall as one people and one state. Journalism is our instrument to reconnect people around issues we all experience, and we intend to use it to bridge those false divides. As a particular kind of nonprofit, we are not permitted to engage in electioneering or otherwise back candidates, but we can deal in facts and common sense. We believe in truth and in using journalism to find a common thread in the pursuit of a better Illinois.
Journalism's basic purpose is to connect the dots, and we also believe it's to connect people. We'll do so through:
- Long-form articles with in-depth reporting
- Short-form stories perfect for sharing on social media
- Short documentaries and video explainers
- Podcasts and audio breakdowns
- Live events, including interviews, town halls, and live-streamed shows
We welcome freelance submissions, but discourage pitches. In other words, if you have an idea of interest to One Illinois, send it to us or write it up yourself. Accepted freelance articles will be published at an agreed-upon fee. Questions or want to get involved? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of us will get back to you.
Plagiarism is absolutely prohibited. Publications and reporters that break news in stories subsequently covered by One Illinois will be credited. Independent One Illinois reporting, however, may stand alone. Corrections will be made as necessary.
A University of Illinois journalism graduate with more than 35 years of experience in media, most recently at the Daily Herald and as City Hall and neighborhood reporter at DNAinfo Chicago. A longtime Chicago Reader sports columnist, he is author of the compilation “1,001 Days in the Bleachers." Follow @tedcoxchicago.
A Chicago native and graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Zach co-produced the Ba le Flag documentary series and founded ADPT Productions. His work has been featured by The Atlantic, The Washington Post, TIME.com, and Vox, and he has produced work for Cards Against Humanity, BuzzFeed, Johnson & Johnson, and the National Immigrant Justice Center. Follow @zigelko.
An audio producer based in Chicago, Cher is a co-founder of Postloudness, a podcast collective of audio shows by people of color, women, and queer-identified hosts. She has contributed audio pieces to Gimlet Media, MTV News, BuzzFeed, Spotify, and NPR stations WNYC and WBEZ. Cher will also produce a limited-run series with Chicago’s Terra Foundation. Follow @chermusings.
Ameya Pawar (President and Executive Director) — A two-term progressive Chicago alderman and published textbook author who developed one of the nation’s first Open 311 smartphone apps, writer of three op-eds (Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times), written about in The New York Times, The Economist, The Intercept, Politico, and other publications. Defeated Chicago political machine in 2011 and passed 12 major pieces of progressive legislation. Follow at @ameya_pawar_il.
Sam Hobert (Vice President) — A Chicago native and a Whitney Young High School and George Washington University graduate, Sam is an alum of the offices of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He’s a veteran of too many Illinois municipal, legislative, and statewide campaigns to recite here.
Katelynd Duncan (Senior Adviser & Co-Founder) — The founder of KJD Strategies, she has raised more than $25 million for Political Action Committees and nonprofits. She is active in her greater Chicago community, serving on the board of directors at Streetwise and volunteering her services to Chicago Cares, Chicago Scholars, NAMI Chicago, The Inconvenience, and the Chicago Foundation for Women’s Young Women’s Leadership Council.
Don Horvath (Chairman) — A Partner at Chicago-based law firm Jenner & Block, Horvath is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell's highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability. Recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer, he provides ongoing representation to a Fortune 500 company on the acquisition, disposition, leasing, and construction of its offices, research and development, and other facilities nationwide. He regularly advises owners and joint ventures in all aspects of the development of residential condominium and apartment projects and mixed-use developments that include residential, hotel, and retail components. He also has represented lenders and borrowers in complex loan transactions including loan syndication, participation, and restructuring transactions.
Kristy Kitzmiller (Creative Director) — Kristy Kitzmiller, CFA, CPA, is co-founder of KMFO, a capital management family office, and founder of Lamarr Energy, an electric supply company. Additionally, Kristy developed and launched a technology company, Tablehost LLC. As chef executive officer she built a reservation platform for VIP concierge restaurant experiences. As founder of Louis' Groceries, a nonprofit grocery store located in a Chicago food desert, Kristy managed a research partnership with the University of Chicago Behavioral Economics team. This partnership successfully identified several behavioral triggers that can be used to stimulate produce purchases among low-income shoppers. Prior to that, Kristy worked as an economist with RCF Economic & Financial Consulting; her main focus was a project dealing with the U.S. Department of Energy's exploration of the hydrogen economy and the potential of hydrogen transportation vehicles in America. Her past experience from time spent in the strategy departments of PepsiCo North America and Exelon Corp. developed her strategic planning and mergers and acquisitions skills. She holds a bachelor's in finance and accounting from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a master's in public policy from University of Chicago's Harris School.
Becky Carroll — President and chief executive officer of C-Strategies LLC, a strategic communications and public-affairs firm. She served as a top adviser to public-sector executives at both Chicago's City Hall and the Illinois Office of the Governor. Carroll has also held top positions on local, state, and national political campaigns, including national director of Women for Obama on the 2008 Obama for President Campaign, and in 2015 as chairman and chief executive officer of Chicago Forward. She has served on multiple boards that promote leadership roles for women in politics and women’s health, family, and workplace issues, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, MedGlobal, and Chicago Woman Magazine. She was once recognized by the Chicago Sun-Times as one of Chicago’s 30 Under 30 and was recently named a Chicago Business Journal 2018 Woman of Influence. Carroll co-founded the social-media campaign #StandWithAleppo, which has gained international recognition and heightened awareness of the situation in Syria. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications and political science from Loyola University Chicago
Neal Sáles-Griffin (Tech Lead & Secretary) — Neal Sáles-Griffin is an entrepreneur, teacher, and nonprofit leader. He loves solving meaningful problems and helping people make progress. He attended Northwestern University, where he became student body president. Neal went on to work in venture capital, an experience that inspired him to teach himself to code. He then co-founded The Starter League. It was one of the first beginner-focused in-person coding schools and first tenants of 1871, Chicago’s technology hub. Today Neal is the CEO of CodeNow, a national nonprofit serving low-income students. Every Monday morning, he returns to the neighborhood where he grew up to teach students how to solve problems in their own communities with technology.
Jennifer Camille Lee — Founder and co-leader of Action Illinois, a progressive advocacy organization based in Springfield, focused on promoting effective action to protect and improve our democracy for today and tomorrow. Jennifer is also the founder and leader of Women Rising — Illinois, an organization based in downstate Illinois that recruits, trains, and helps elect progressive women to office. In the most recent municipal elections, three of the four endorsed Women Rising candidates won their elections. She has worked with the Labor Education Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to establish an advisory board made up of labor leaders across the Midwest, created a policy institute (Project for Middle Class Renewal) dedicated to improving the lives of the middle class in Illinois through applied policy research and trainings, and developed programming for union labor and communities throughout the state. In her role there she also co-directed the Polk Women’s Labor Leadership School. Jennifer organized the sister rally to the National Women’s March in Springfield, and was a co-chair of the Illinois Women March on Springfield event at the state capitol, which saw 2,000 community members rally for a responsible state budget with a progressive agenda. Jennifer has been an active participant in Democratic political campaigns since her days as a college student at the University of Illinois at Springfield and has worked in a wide variety of roles from fundraising to leading field teams. Currently she directs grassroots outreach for the JB Pritzker campaign for governor and is leading the ERA Illinois coalition to ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment in Illinois.