Below are podcasts from programs held by the Club's Public Affairs Committee.
In 2011, the “One Summer Chicago” program was launched to provide city youth with summer educational and employment activities. Can this kind of intervention offer a solution to Chicago's ongoing episodes of gun violence? Does economic opportunity help reduce rates of violent crime? Or, as the question is often posed, can a job stop a bullet?
The Union League Club's Public Affairs Committee convened a forum examining these questions and related issues. Our program featured a presentation by Bradford Hunt, co-author of Planning Chicago and insights from other leaders including: Victor Dickson, President/CEO of Safer Foundation in Chicago; 17th Ward Alderman David Moore; Shari Runner, President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League; Planning Chicago co-author Jon DeVries; and William Towns, Executive Director of Benefit Chicago. Our moderator was Roseanna Ander, Executive Director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, established in 2008 to use scientific research to help develop new approaches to reducing violence.
In the wake of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and rising tensions across the nation, on Sept. 14, 2017 ULCC Public Affairs convened a forum – "A Candid Conversation About Race” – to help us better understand the roots of racial divisions in our nation and consider paths toward resolution of these conflicts. The event featured a discussion between ULCC Subcommittee on Race Relations Chairman, Mr. Eugene Morris, and The Rev. Dr. Michael Louis Pfleger, Senior Pastor of Saint Sabina Church. A spiritual leader recognized for his fight against injustice and racism, since 1968 Father Pfleger has lived and ministered in the African-American community on both the west and south sides of Chicago; at 31, he became the youngest full pastor in the diocese when he was appointed Pastor of Saint Sabina Church.
On August 14, 2017, the Union League Club of Chicago was privileged to welcome to a special luncheon the most recent recipient of the Medal of Honor, James McCloughan. Mr. McCloughan, who received the MOH for his heroic actions in May, 1969 while serving as a combat medic in Vietnam (with Company C, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade), was interviewed at the luncheon by his fellow MOH recipient (and ULCC member), Allen Lynch.
Following adoption of Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2018 budget – enacted in early July when the Illinois General Assembly overrode Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto, thus ending an almost three-year budgetary impasse – the Union League Club of Chicago’s Public Affairs Committee joined with NPR Illinois and AARP Illinois to present a forum examining the budget, the effects of the stalemate, and to discuss what happens next. The forum was moderated by NPR Illinois' Statehouse Reporter Brian Mackey and featured an expert panel: Laurence Msall, President of the Civic Federation; Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle; John Bouman, President of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law; and Sheila Weinberg, ULCC member and Founder & CEO of Truth in Accounting.
In partnership with the First Division Museum at Cantigny and the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), in October 2016 Evenings@65West hosted a discussion of the national security challenges facing the next U.S. Administration. Our panelists: Dr. Michael P. Noonan, Director of Research and Director of the Program on National Security at the FPRI, and Nada Bakos, a highly-regarded national security expert who was the Chief Targeting Officer tracking Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
In December 2015, the ULCC proudly hosted a special luncheon with retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent “Flo” Groberg, who received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions on August 8, 2012 in Asadabad, Afghanistan. Capt. Groberg was interviewed by ULCC member (and President of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library) Ken Clarke.
Following adoption of the nuclear agreement with Iran – which were approved over the Israel’s strong objections – Lunch@65West hosted a forum examining the challenges and opportunities that this agreement poses. Our featured speakers were Dr. Dan Scheuftan, Director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa, and Steve Sheffey, political analyst, writer, commentator, and former president of CityPAC.
In March 2016, Evenings@65West presented a forum on “America’s Heroin Epidemic: From the City to the Suburbs” featuring internationally-renowned addiction specialist Mark Gold, M.D.
Bitcoins are a computer-generated digital currency that functions independently of institutions such as central banks. To examine the economic implications of digital currencies and ethical concerns concerning their development and use, ULCC Public Affairs and DePaul University’s Institute for Business and Professional Ethics presented a November 2016 forum with global finance expert Dr. Kara Tan Bhala, President and Founder of the Seven Pillars Institute for Global Finance and Ethics.
In October, 2016, the PAC’s Education Subcommittee presented an evening program with Dr. Janice K. Jackson, Chief Education Officer for Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Dr. Jackson reviewed past CPS achievements and highlighted CPS’ vision for academic progress in 2016 – 2019.
In December 2015, Breakfast@65West presented a forum on proposed regulations governing the use of remotely-controlled drones with FAA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Barry Cooper.
This November, 2016 Breakfast@65West forum featured remarks by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who joined us to present and discuss the Chicago Police Department’s newly-proposed revisions to its “Use of Force” policy.
In October 2014, the ULCC hosted an address by U.S. Representative Michael Rogers (R-MI), Chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, who shared his insights into national security policy.
In November 2016, Breakfast@65West welcomed to the Clubhouse new College of DuPage President Ann Rondeau (a retired Navy Vice Admiral whose resume includes service as Commander of Naval Training Center Great Lakes), who shared her vision for COD’s path to renewal following a series of crises that arose under the college’s prior administration.
In March 2014, Breakfast@65West welcomed former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (in her capacity as Co-Chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition), who shared her observations about America’s energy sector and the policy needed to ensure the nation’s future energy needs.
In June 2014, the ULCC’s Breakfast@65West series presented a forum examining the Second Amendment with attorney David Sigale (who represented the Second Amendment Foundation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in the landmark case, Moore v. Madigan that overturned Illinois’ ban on the carrying of concealed firearms) and Michael Waldman, President of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and author of “The Second Amendment: A Biography.”
The ULCC observed Veterans Day in November 2016 at a special luncheon where we heard inspiring remarks by Club member Allen J. Lynch, recipient of the Medal of Honor – our nation’s highest award for valor in combat.
The ULCC’s 2017 Martin Luther King Day luncheon featured a keynote address by Shari Runner, President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League.
In January 2015, the Union League Club of Chicago commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King Day with a luncheon featuring an address by the Honorable Toni Preckwinkle, President, Cook County Board of Commissioners.