I don’t know about you, but the string of farewell columns this month has exhausted me. Familiar voices are suddenly quiet, and they’ll be missed.
A good opinion column is part of what makes a community. It gives us something to talk about, to argue about, to learn from, to bundle into a ball and throw in the garbage.
Whether it starts a civic conversation or a bar stool bicker, a well-turned column is good for the reader, and for society as a whole. There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of writing a column that can get a city thinking and talking — and maybe even change some minds.
I don’t mean to put my name in the same list as the long-serving, name-brand columnists who left the Chicago Tribune in recent days.
David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.
Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.
Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.