InFocus Andy ShawThe BGA is headquartered in Chicago but we’re a statewide organization with a commitment to shine a light on government, hold public officials accountable and engage reform-minded citizens all over Illinois.

That’s why we’re expanding our watchdog and civic engagement activities to the state capitol in Springfield, where the most money is spent, the biggest decisions are made and government is most dysfunctional.

We recently established partnerships with media, business and civic leaders in Springfield, and those relationships are already bearing fruit.

Now it’s on to Southern Illinois, where BGA President & CEO Andy Shaw spent two days (April 8 and 9) as a guest of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, which is part of Southern Illinois University.


Institute Director David Yepsen, a former colleague of Andy’s in the political reporting world, introduced Andy to media leaders in Carbondale for a series of TV, radio and print interviews.

Andy was also a guest speaker at an institute luncheon, where he talked about the BGA’s overall mission, and our commitment to watchdog partnerships all around the state.

The visit is likely to produce new investigative collaborations with Carbondale media and civic engagement projects with the Simon institute.

Read more: Watchdog group plans to expand presence in Illinois

“We’re entering an exciting new phase of our revitalized watchdog organization,” Andy says. “We promised our supporters that we would be much more than a Chicago and Cook County watchdog, and we’re fulfilling that pledge. Our Springfield initiative is off to a great start, Carbondale is next, and those partnerships will also link us to media and civic leaders in every part of Illinois.”