Stories by Alexandra Silets

(Credit: Lee Bey)

Chicago Architecture Critics Team Up to Highlight Inequities, Explore Solutions

What do you get when you put two of Chicago’s preeminent architecture critics together? A thought-provoking book about the city’s storied architecture.

Pat Quinn appears on "Chicago Tonight" on Nov. 17, 2022. (WTTW News)

Week In Review: Pat Quinn Opts Out; Mayoral Race Heats Up

Special counsel appointed to investigate Trump. A high profile, would-be candidate opts out of the mayoral race. Lightfoot institutes a full court press for the Red Line extension. And property tax mailings hit homeowners where it hurts.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: Pritzker, Illinois Dems Have Big Election Day

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wins reelection handily as Democrats sweep the state. National predictions of a Republican wave fail to materialize. Chuy García enters the race for mayor. And the CTA chief gets an earful.

(CNN)

Week in Review: Biden In Town Ahead of Midterms

Major national figures are in town as local midterm races go down to the wire. Mayor Lightfoot is facing a budget revolt. The Bears pull off huge trades and hedge for the future while the White Sox name a new manager.

Alexi Giannoulias and Dan Brady appear in a WTTW News candidate forum on Oct. 26, 2022. (WTTW News)

Candidate Forum: Open Secretary of State Office Has Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Dan Brady Squaring Off

It’s the first time since 1998 that Jesse White won’t be on the ballot for Illinois secretary of state. Running to fill the office is Republican Dan Brady and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias. 

The Week in Review: Bailey Campaigns With Pastors Who Were at Capitol on Jan. 6

What the just-unsealed affidavit shows about the FBI’s search of Mar-A-Lago. The mayor’s between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the Columbus statue. And student loan debt relief.

Spotlight Politics: Biden Keeps Campaign Promise with Loan Forgiveness

President Joe Biden unveils his student debt relief plan. A conservative group’s political ad darkens Mayor Lightfoot’s skin. Our politics team weighs in on those stories and more.

(WTTW News)

The Week in Review: Politicians Rally Party Faithful at Illinois State Fair

Optimism and discord for both parties at the state fair. Jurors view notorious video in R. Kelly’s Chicago trial. Deaths and injuries in Chicago’s playpen. And CPS prepares to go back to school.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other state Democrats wave to the crowd at the Illinois State Fair’s Democrat Day on Aug. 17, 2022. (WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Illinois Dems Focus on Unity, Target GOP Nominee Darren Bailey at State Fair

Highland Park calls for a ban on semi-automatic weapons. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

The Week in Review: List Unsealed, FBI Removes Nuclear Secrets from Mar-a-Lago

The FBI vs. former President Trump. A scaled-back property tax increase. And tension at the CPD over the firing of the officer in charge of reform.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is pictured at the July 20, 2022, Chicago City Council meeting. (WTTW News)

The Week in Review: Lightfoot Losing Allies, Pritzker Mum on Endorsement

Former Lightfoot allies falling off the bandwagon. Unearthed Darren Bailey Holocaust comments cause bipartisan blowback. Outgoing prosecutors blast Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. And the Cubs and Sox largely stand pat at the trade deadline.

Darren Bailey appears in a 2017 social media video. (Facebook)

Spotlight Politics: Darren Bailey Facing Backlash Over Abortion and Holocaust Comparison

The Republican nominee for Illinois governor, Darren Bailey, is feeling the backlash from both sides of the aisle for comparing abortion to the Holocaust. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

(CNN via WTTW)

The Week in Review: Kinzinger on January 6, Rotering on Assault Weapons Ban

Another alderperson decides to retire before her term is up. Rep Adam Kinzinger leads an explosive Jan. 6 hearing. NASCAR is coming to Chicago. And Pritzker catches COVID-19 after a trip to Florida.

The Week in Review: Bans on Assault Weapons, High-Capacity Magazines Pushed

The prospect of cracking down on assault-grade guns. Hyper-contagious COVID-19. The governor’s race heats up. And City Council changeover.

Spotlight Politics: Friends and Families Demand More Gun Restrictions in DC

Accusations of witness tampering against former President Donald Trump. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

(WTTW News)

The Week in Review: Bailey Apologizes Again, Renewed Calls for Tougher Gun Laws

Processing, mourning, and pushing for change as suburban Highland Park reels from a Fourth of July mass shooting. Plus, what’s next for gun control this election year?

Vice President Kamala Harris walks with Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering during a visit to Highland Park on July 5, 2022. (WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: VP Harris, Gov. Pritzker, Darren Bailey React to Highland Park Shooting

In this week’s edition of Spotlight Politics: our team on Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit to Highland Park and whether gun laws will tighten.

The first graduation ceremony for the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Restorative Justice Community Court in Englewood was held on June 29, 2022. (WTTW News)

First Graduates of Cook County Restorative Justice Program Recognized

Participants in the the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Restorative Justice Community Court spent six to nine months learning conflict resolution and job skills, as well as receiving emotional support.  

Illinois State Rep. Delia Ramirez appears on “Chicago Tonight” on June 29, 2022, after her win in the Democratic primary in the 3rd Congressional District. (WTTW News)

Delia Ramirez Wins Democratic Primary in 3rd Congressional District

Should she prevail against her Republican challenger, Justin Burau, in the general election in November, Ramirez wants to focus on environmental issues as well as Medicare for All and immigration reform.

(WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Previewing Primary Election Day in Illinois

It is the night before the primary election in Illinois and candidates are making a last-minute push for votes. Our Spotlight Politics team of Amanda Vinicky, Paris Schutz and Heather Cherone previews the hottest races in the state.

(WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Billionaires Spend Tens of Millions on Governor’s Race

Our politics team weighs in on Darren Bailey's lead in the GOP primary race for the governor and more.

A composite image of the candidates for Cook County assessor, incumbent Fritz Kaegi and challenger Kari Steele. (WTTW News graphic)

Candidate Forum: Cook County Assessor Candidates Kaegi, Steele Face Off

The candidates for Cook County assessor face off in a “Chicago Tonight” candidate forum.

The January 6 Committee meets on June 9, 2022. (PBS NewsHour)

The Week in Review: Donald Trump at Center of January 6 Committee Hearing

Donald Trump was at the center of primetime hearings on the Jan. 6 insurrection. Mayor Lightfoot makes it official — she wants another term. And a new poll shows a seismic shift in the GOP race for governor. 

A cannabis cultivation facility. (WTTW News)

All 48 Craft Cannabis Licenses Awarded to Social Equity Applicants

The state has awarded 48 cultivation licenses to craft cannabis growers, and 100% of the licenses are going to social equity winners — folks who were most impacted by the nation’s so-called war on drugs.  

(ABC via WTTW)

The Week in Review: GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Debate Violence, Guns

Republican gubernatorial candidates go on the attack. Two more candidates for Chicago mayor. And the U.S. Senate debates gun policy amid Uvalde and another violent memorial day weekend in Chicago.

(WTTW News)

VA Hospitals Work to Address Mental Health Needs of Veterans

Since 2010, more than 65,000 veterans have died by suicide – that is more than the total number of deaths from combat during the Vietnam War and the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.