Mike Stephen talks to outgoing Ald. John Arena (45th) about local political issues, discusses the proposed state progressive income tax and budget with David Merriman of the Fiscal Futures Project, and learns about the work of Sunrise Movement Chicago.  The local music this week is powered by The Tentatives. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

Mike Stephen stops by Cody’s bar in Lakeview to kick off the Winter Tavern Tour with @ChicagoBars, learns about Little Village’s fight for environmental justice, and discusses the statistics that show Chicago’s declining population with local demographer Rob Paral.  The local music this week is powered by Minor Moon. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

Mike Stephen learns about Illinois’ efforts to combat climate change with the executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council, gets the lowdown on a story about Chicago with the creator of a new podcast called The City, and discovers the Secret History of legendary Chicago Bluesman Otis Rush with local music historian Steve Krakow (aka: Plastic Crimewave).  The local music this week is brought to you by Scamlines. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #546- Closing the IL gender pay gap, Future of the Great Lakes, The Secret History of Big Smokey Smothers

Mike Stephen talks with:   Women Employed policy director Melissa Josephs about Equal Pay Day, the Illinois Equal Pay Act, and preventing employers from asking about salary histories;   Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Dan Egan about protecting our region’s greatest natural resource, as detailed in his book The Death and Life of the Great Lakes; and   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about rhythm guitarist and ice cream vendor Otis “Big Smokey” Smothers for this week’s “Winter Blues” edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music.   Meanwhile, we compare Chicago’s population density to other major cities.   This week’s local music is provided by Moon Bros..   OTL host Mike Stephen knows which stack of papers is his due to WGN Radio super engineer Bob Ferguson’s helpful note.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.