Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers

Bloggers, activists and brothers Mike and Fred Klonsky get together each week, often with special guests in studio and from around the country, to discuss current topics involving politics, education and social justice "from the Left side of the plate." The topics covered may be local, national or international but always with a Chicago sensibility and perspective.
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Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers


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Oct 6, 2018

Progressive political strategist Joanna Klonsky discusses sexual assault against women. Jose Rico is running for Alderman in the 12th Ward.

Oct 6, 2018

Progressive political strategist Joanna Klonsky discusses sexual assault against women. Jose Rico is running for Alderman in the 12th Ward.

Sep 28, 2018

Palestine Legal's executive director Dima Khalidi joins us this week to talk about the current situation in Gaza, the movement around boycotting, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, Israeli and Zionist influence on U.S. politics and elections and attacks on the rights of Palestinians.

Sep 21, 2018

Esteemed educator Bill Ayers joins us for a critique of How Schools Work, the latest book by the former Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. Duncan would not join us. We asked.

Sep 14, 2018

This podcast features the newest member of the Illinois legislature, Representative Celina Villanueva and Chicago Teachers Union organizer, Martin Ritter.

Sep 7, 2018

Rahm is out but Ja'Mal Green as been in it all along and shares his views about what Chicago needs and why he is the progressive choice. Maria Gaspar and Christopher of the 96 Acres Project, a collaboration between artists and those incarcerated at Cook County Jail.

Aug 17, 2018

Omar Lopez (Young Lords), Billy Che Brooks (Black Panthers), Mary Scott-Boria (Black Panthers), Rev. Slim Walter Coleman Emma Lozano (SDS), Michael James (Rising Up Angry), Marilyn Katz (SDS), my brother and I talking about the Movement in Chicago before, during and after '68. 

Aug 3, 2018

AFSCME's Elijah Edwards joins us to talk about life after Janus. Ronald Kitchen, author of My Midnight Years, is one of the Death Row Ten and a victim of Jon Burge torture and false conviction.

Jul 27, 2018

Dan Cooper is co-author with Ryan Lugalia-Hollon of The War on Neighborhoods: Policing, Prison and Punishment in a Divided City. Amanda Klonsky is a Chicago teacher, activist and researcher of youth incarceration. 

Jul 20, 2018

Ricardo Muñoz joins us in-studio again to talk about Chicago property taxes (they're up!), family separations at the border and kids being held in Chicago, Amazon and the window washers strike. We remember Rudy Lozano and talk about Chuy in Congress. Ric declares himself part of the socialist wing of the Democratic Party and promises a Latinx candidate for mayor.

Jul 13, 2018

Chicago poet Nate Marshall reads his Chicago poem, talks about culture and politics in Chicago. Alderman Munoz joins us late, but will be back with us next podcast. And Jennifer sings her latest about families separated.

Jun 29, 2018

Lori Lightfoot is running against Rahm Emanuel for Mayor of Chicago. An hour wasn't long enough, as usual. But we got into police conduct, the cop academy, immigration, pensions, taxes, school closings. Don't underestimate Ms Lightfoot. She was quarterback back in the day, and she's tough.

Jun 22, 2018

Rus Bradburd joins us to talk about his book, All the Dreams We've Dreamed: A story of Hoops and Handguns on Chicago's West Side. It is a story about sports, coaching, college recruitment, schools, gun violence and real folks, like Shawn Harrington. Shawn went to Chicago's storied Marshall High School. 

Harrington, 41, was a Division II All-American at Northwest Missouri State, where he landed after playing at Mineral Area (Iowa) Junior College, then New Mexico State following graduation from Marshall in 1993. 

His career as a basketball coach was cut short by a bullet as he covered his daughter and saved her life and who now sits in a wheel chair, tells as much about this city’s Black flight and transformation to a city for the rich, as any sociologist’s academic study.

Jun 15, 2018

Progressive political strategist and consultant Joanna Klonsky brings us up to date on the #MeToo Movement in Illinois' state capital. Greg Kelley, President of the midwest local of SEIU Healthcare talks about the labor response to the impending Janus decision and their experience with Harris v Quinn, where the court ruled against SEIU.

Jun 8, 2018

Our old friends, Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, join us to report on their trip to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice that opened recently in Montgomery Alabama. Our discussion covers issues of the criminal justice system in Chicago, gun violence, the CPS sexual abuse scandal and more. An hour talk among friends.

Jun 1, 2018

Brother Mike returns this week with our guest, polyglot Amara Enyia. Amara is a Chicago Renaissance Woman and Iron Woman. Enyia ran for Mayor last time around but hasn't found a candidate to support yet. She thinks Rahm is very beatable and we talk about a Progressive pathway to the Mayor's office.

May 25, 2018

With great friends in the studio, you hate for things to go wrong. Especially when your big brother is off for the week. The music didn't play. We almost lost the podcast version. Things turned out okay in the end. Brandon talks about his view of his role as a new Cook County Commissioner. Juanita Irizarry, Executive Director of Friends of the Parks talks about the Obama Presidential Center and the use of parks as a tool for democracy and as a weapon against poor folks and for gentrification.

May 18, 2018

Mike has just come back from a trip with Susan to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with their friends in Arapaho territory. They visited friends who run a language immersion school. I expressed concerns over state funding to retired teacher health care. And the Grassroots Collaborative's Nathan Ryan talks about the community organizing and political work going on in Chicago and downstate.

May 11, 2018

Ra Joy ran as Lt. Governor with Christopher Kennedy, losing to JB Pritzker in the Democratic primary. Joy is backing Lori Lightfoot for Mayor against a large and growing field. What makes a progressive a progressive? What is the role of the press in the election process? What do Democratic progressives have to say to the most oppressed, the victims of gun and police violence and the lack of economic development in communities of color? 

May 4, 2018

The Chicago Public Schools has created an algorithm for families who are choosing a public school for their children. But this $250,000 no-bid deal is neither transparent no does it address the issues of race and segregation. Our guest is Dr. Charles Tocci of Chicago Loyola who recently wrote about this in the Washington Post. Can you include social justice in an algorithm?

Apr 27, 2018

Ralph Martire is the Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. We discuss school funding, fair taxation and the use of data in dealing with funding adequacy equity. Can you have equity without adequacy?

Apr 20, 2018

The Trauma Show. Author and journalist Mark Miller and University of Chicago professor Dr. Dexter Voisin join us to talk about the personal and institutional impact of trauma: From a Philadelphia Starbucks to Parkland, Florida to the west side of Chicago, how do we respond to trauma? On a individual level some can turn it into positive action. Others become paralyzed. What about the trauma of slavery or of capitalism? This is our topic on today's show.

Apr 13, 2018

Progressive political strategist Joanna Klonsky and Cook County Commissioner elect Brandon Johnson join us to talk about union democracy and the Red State Teacher Revolt and progressive politics in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois and the nation.

Apr 6, 2018

Author Pat Thomas joins the Klonsky Brothers to talk about his new book on Jerry Rubin. Did it! Yippie to Yuppie. Jerry Rubin, American Revolutionary. Then the brothers talk about schools, strikes and stuff.

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