The Illinois Answers Project hosted a discussion Thursday about the recent two-part series where reporter Alex Nitkin examines how two Colorado cities have implemented solutions to protect tenants and how a similar program could potentially be implemented in Chicago.

If you missed this live discussion, you can watch the recording below.

Nitkin and Metropolitan Tenants Organization community organizer Arieh Venick discussed Chicago’s building safety record, what other cities are doing to protect tenants and what you need to know as a renter. 

Nitkin discussed the findings from his two-part series, which explored how Denver officials are working to register every landlord and proactively inspect rental units. Nitkin also previously reported on how Illinois policymakers have struggled in recent years to catch up with national trends in safety standards and explored two other cities that Chicago could emulate for safer buildings. 

The series followed a 2021 Illinois Answers Project joint investigation with the Chicago Tribune, “The Failures Before the Fires,” that exposed how in Chicago, unsafe living conditions and an outdated, disorganized building inspection system have resulted in countless preventable deaths. The investigative series uncovered that 42 lethal fires occurred in buildings with fire safety problems known to city officials.

YouTube video

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Kathryn Dugal (she/her) joined the BGA in 2022 as the manager of audience engagement. Most recently, Kathryn served as the development and engagement specialist at the Center for Michigan, the nonprofit publisher of the news organizations Bridge Michigan and BridgeDetroit. Prior to that, Kathryn worked for a national healthcare association and for a regional philanthropic organization in northwest Michigan. Kathryn holds an MA in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University and a BA in Global & Area Studies from Michigan State University.