Stories by Marissa Nelson

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Archer Heights

(WTTW News)

The Southwest Side community is home to many essential workers and has been a hot spot for the coronavirus throughout the pandemic.

Basic Income: Providing Cash Assistance Directly to Adults, Families

(nosheep / Pixabay)

What are basic income payments, and why do some advocates say they can help families in poverty reach their financial goals? We discuss the concept as part of WTTW’s new “Firsthand: Living in Poverty” initiative.

Justice Department Watchdog Says Officials Knew Immigration Policy Would Separate Families

(WTTW News via CNN)

A scathing report on the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that separated thousands of families at the border. 

Respiratory Therapists Seeing More Patients, People on Ventilators Amid Pandemic

(WTTW News via CNN)

Respiratory therapists care for some of the sickest COVID-19 patients. We hear from two local therapists about their experiences and workloads amid the pandemic.

What to Know About Extremist Groups Involved in Capitol Attack

Pro-Trump supporters breach security gates at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

The deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol one week ago brought together many extremist organizations, from right-wing militias to members of the Proud Boys. We discuss those groups and the potential threats they pose.

Security Experts Surprised by Protesters Ability to Storm US Capitol

Protesters storm the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

“I was not surprised by the violence,” said Tom Mockaitis, a security and terrorism specialist. “I was surprised and appalled by how poorly prepared to defend the United States Capitol the security apparatus was.” 

‘Relief on the Horizon’: Some Health Care Workers Optimistic as US Rolls Out Vaccine

(WTTW News)

Health care workers have been among the first Illinoisans to get the coronavirus vaccine. Has the immunization provided relief? We hear from two doctors.

The Week in Review: A Year Unlike Any Other

(WTTW News)

COVID-19, civil unrest, a chaotic election, spiking homicides and the walls close in on House Speaker Madigan. Looking back at a year nobody will ever forget, and what lies ahead in 2021.

Spotlight Politics: Mayor’s Office Releases Emails Related to the Botched Raid

A still image from a Chicago Police Department body camera video shows a police raid at the home of Anjanette Young in February 2019. (WTTW News via Ja’Mal Green)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office releases emails related to the wrongful raid of Anjanette Young’s home following calls for more transparency about the botched raid. Our politics team takes on that story and more in this week’s roundtable.

‘Black Voices’ Community Conversation: Watch Night

A screenshot from the “Black Voices” community conversation on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. (WTTW News)

It’s a New Year’s Eve tradition. Check out our virtual discussion about the history of Watch Night services with Brandis Friedman, host of “Black Voices,” and a panel of guests.

Chicago Blackhawks CEO Says Name Change Not in Team’s Future

(JenOlson / Pixabay)

Are the days numbered for the Blackhawks team name and logo? According to the team’s new CEO the answer is no, but some Native American groups are pushing back. Two community leaders debate the issue.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Sauganash

(WTTW News)

On the Far Northwest Side, the Sauganash community seeks to make the season a bit more festive amid the coronavirus pandemic with its holiday light displays.

Pilsen Holiday Window Walk Aims to Boost Business, Support Local Artists

(WTTW News)

A nonprofit on Chicago’s Lower West Side is getting creative this holiday season. We check out the 2020 Pilsen Christmas Window Walk.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Pilsen

(WTTW News)

Pilsen has long been an enclave for immigrants, and right now, it’s a community with many residents who are struggling because of the coronavirus. 

Chicago Medical School Dean Serving on FDA Vaccine Advisory Committee

FDA advisory committee to hold public meeting Thursday about Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine.

(WTTW News via CNN)

The FDA’s vaccine advisory committee is preparing to meet Thursday to discuss Pfizer’s vaccine. Dr. Archana Chatterjee, dean of the Chicago Medical School and a member of that committee, talks about that process.

Doctors, Nurses Under Pressure as Coronavirus Surges

(WTTW News via CNN)

Nine months into the pandemic, many health care workers say they’re reaching a breaking point, and they’re bracing for what health officials say could be one of the most difficult winters in American public health history.  

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Chatham

As residents and businesses grapple with the coronavirus, a new health center opens on the South Side. Amanda Vinicky reports from Chatham.

‘Latino Voices’ Community Conversation: Election 2020

A screenshot from the “Latino Voices” community conversation on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. (WTTW News)

It’s been four weeks since the polls closed, but the impact of the election is still unfolding. Check out our virtual discussion about the 2020 general election with Hugo Balta, host of “Latino Voices,” and a panel of guests.

Firsthand Gun Violence: Prevention Programs Get Boost in Funding

(WTTW News)

The city’s 2021 budget includes $36 million for violence prevention programs. That’s nearly $25 million more than in the 2020 budget, but some advocates say the additional funding is still not enough. 

The Week in Review: A Black Friday Like No Other

(WTTW News)

After an unprecedented year, we take a hard look at the pandemic-ravaged economy, as businesses gear up for the all-important holiday retail season. 

With Coronavirus Vaccines on The Way, Researchers Say It’s Time to Build Trust

(WTTW News via CNN)

A recent survey found that just 51% of U.S. adults say they would get the COVID-19 vaccine — and just 32% of Black adults. We discuss the cause of medical mistrust and how to rebuild it. 

Chicago Partnership Working Toward Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine

A coalition of over 35 organizations is working to make distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine in Chicago equitable. We speak with three members of the Vaccine Corps Partnership.

Nursing Homes See Increase in COVID-19 As Virus Surges in Illinois

(WTTW News)

As COVID-19 continues to surge in Illinois, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are bracing for what’s likely to come. 

Why COVID-19 Is Prompting a Mass Exodus of Women in the Workforce

(Photo by Iris Wang on Unsplash)

Since February, nearly 2.2 million women have left the workforce, according to the National Women’s Law Center. What’s behind what some have dubbed the “she-cession” — and what are the long-term implications of the exodus?

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: West Lawn

A 25-minute drive southwest of the Loop, the West Lawn community is home to many essential workers and has one of the highest rates of COVID-19 in the city.

Political Divide: 2020 Election Reaffirms Polarization in US

President Donald Trump, left, and President-elect Joe Biden. (WTTW News via CNN)

Political polarization runs deep in America. Though the election is over, tensions still run high—and not just in states with tight races, like Pennsylvania, but right here in Illinois.