Here is what is coming up on Hitting Left the next month.

What’s coming up on the Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers radio show and podcast.

October 20: Charles Thomas. 

For 25 years Charles Thomas was a rare sight on a major media outlet: An African American reporting on Chicago and Illinois politics. He retired from ABC channel 7 this past year and is now doing independent journalism focusing on the African American community.

October 27: Floyd Webb and Peter Kuttner.

Floyd Webb is a producer and director, known for The Search for Count Dante (2015), Yasuke-San (2018) and Daughters of the Dust (1991).

For over 40 years, Peter Kuttner has worked in mainstream and alternative media. He began his career in 1965 working for WTTW, Chicago’s Public Television station.  In the later 60’s he joined Newsreel, a documentary collective working with the Peace, Black Power, and Women’s Movements.

November 3: Juanita Irizarry.

Juanita is executive director of Friends of the Parks and led the successful fight against the Mayor and George Lucas when they wanted to build the Lucas Museum on the City’s lake front.

Juanita Irizarry‘s background is in community development and housing policy.  She has held posts with the Hispanic Housing Development Corp., Bickerdike Redevelopment Corp. and The Resurrection Project.

Irizarry also was executive director of the advocacy group Latinos United, now known as the Latino Policy Forum.

November 10: David Stoval and Josh Radinsky.

Dr. Stovall studies the influence of race in urban education, community development, and housing. His work investigates the significance of race in the quality of schools located in communities that are changing both racially and economically. From a practical and theoretical perspective, his research draws from Critical Race Theory, educational policy analysis, sociology, urban planning, political science, community organizing, and youth culture.

In 2006, he published the book chapter “From Hunger Strike to High School: Youth Development, Social Justice and School Formation” in Beyond Resistance!:  Youth and community change-Bew democratic possibilities for practice and policy for America’s youth.

Joshua Radinsky’s research applies cultural-historical activity theory to the study of teaching and learning with data visualizations, with a focus on historical and social inquiry. His research methods are design-based, using the process of designing and adapting learning environments — curriculum, instruction, software, data inscriptions — as a window through which to analyze how people learn, individually and socially.This research informs, and is informed by, professional development and teacher education in the social sciences, and studies of the social contexts of schooling in big cities like Chicago.

Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers Podcast #36. Indivisible and Keeping NTA open.

I’m out of town this week so I’m not sitting in the co-host chair at Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers.

My sister-in-law Susan Klonsky is sitting in.

She know all about Bill Buckner. And a lot of other stuff too.

Joining her and my brother are Jeff Radue and Josh Fox from Indivisible, an organization organizing local actions against the Trump agenda.

And we are continuing to follow attempts by CPS to close the National Teachers Academy.

You can find the podcast here.

Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. Episode #35. A convo with Prexy Nesbitt about Africa.

Maybe if the President was listening to Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers he would know the difference between what he called Nambia and a real place named Namibia.

Jamie Trecker, our long-time producer and Lumpen Radio station manager finally quit for real. He’s been threatening for months. But the guy is too dedicated to the station so that he would only leave if someone capable could be found to replace him.

We were joined today by Jerry Salgado who will now produce the show.

We were also joined by long-time friend and activist Prexy Nesbitt.

I reminded Prexy that we first met at meetings over on North Avenue at the offices of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. This would have been back in the late seventies. We were both much younger men back then.

We were organizing to bring busloads of people to New York’s Madison Square Garden to support those in Puerto Rico who were struggling against the effects of colonialism.

And here we are again in 2017, still seeing the impact of colonialism on Puerto Rico following the devastation brought on my Hurricane Maria.

Prexy’s main work over the past 40 years has been supporting the liberation movements in Africa, particularly South Africa.

Things have certainly changed over the past 40 years and Prexy is quite critical of the current South African regime.

But not without hope and excitement about the youth movement in South Africa today.

You can hear and download the episode here.

Coming up on Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers.


This coming Friday we are looking forward to our conversation with long-time activist Prexy Nesbitt. Prexy has has deep knowledge of and ties to South Africa.

On Friday, October 13, my brother Mike will be with old friend Gabe Lyon. I go back with Gabe when, working with Project Exploration, she came to talk science with our school’s students. Her latest project is No Small Plans, a 144-page color graphic novel that follows the neighborhood adventures of teens in Chicago’s past, present and future as they wrestle with what it will take to design the city they want, need and deserve.

On October 20 we will be sitting down with Charles Thomas, veteran Chicago political reporter. Thomas worked for years at the local Chicago ABC television station before retiring last March following a singular career as the African American reporter in that position covering the political beat.

October 27th our guest will be Peter Kuttner. In addition to being an old friend of the Klonsky brothers, for over 40 years Peter Kuttner has worked in mainstream and alternative media. He began his career in 1965 working for WTTW, Chicago’s Public Television station. In the 60’s as he became politically active, joined Newsreel, a documentary collective working with the Peace, Black Power, and Women’s Movements.

Joining Peter in studio will be Floyd Webb, associate producer of the award winning Julie Dash Film, Daughters of the Dust(US 1992); local producer of the American Masters film, The World of Nat King Cole (2006); producer and director of music videos, short documentaries, and 3D animations project.

Webb has also worked with filmmakers such as John Akomfrah, St. Clair Bourne, Jean Pierre Bekolo and Spike Lee doing research and production work on documentary, commercials, drama and short films.

We will have a discussion of independent and radical film-making back in the day and now.

Tune in on November 10th when David Stoval and Josh Radinsky will be with us. Both David and John are professors at the University of Illinois at Chicago and we will be talking education and schools.

Remember that Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers is broadcast live every Friday at 11AM and rebroadcast Sundays at 7PM. In Chicago it can be found at 105.5fm. It is live streamed on and podcast at and iTunes. It can also be heart on MixCloud.

Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. Episode #34. Barry Romo and Vietnam.

We first met Barry Romo in the late sixties, early seventies, while hanging around The Long March, a Movement hang-out in Los Angeles near MacArthur Park.

it has been a few years, although we still run into each other at Chicago protests and events now that we all have moved east.

Barry was one of the founders – The California founder he reminded me – of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, an inspiring group of men and women who came to oppose the war in Vietnam while having fought in it.

Our one hour conversation on Hitting Left is way too short. His personal story is most compelling. How does a guy go from a farm worker family in San Bernardino County, Catholic and wanting to enlist, to a leading anti-war activist?

Oh. The “spitting story.” You’ve heard it. The one about returning Vietnam vets being spit on my protesters. “Never happened,” said Romo. “Show me a photograph. Just one. We all had cameras when we came home. Show me a picture where that happened.”

Take the hour and listen here.


Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. Episode #33. Cook County Clerk David Orr and Chicago Votes’ Stevie Valles.

Our problem has become that one hour isn’t near enough to talk about all the things we want to talk about, especially when we have guests like David Orr and Stevie Valles from Chicago Votes.

David is, of course, the retiring Cook County Clerk which is the office that runs the elections in Cook. This is not your daddy’s Cook County operation which was known for ghost voters and shoe boxes full of uncounted ballots.

It was a perfect match of guests. Because of the work of Chicago Votes, even Governor Rauner was forced to sign a bill allowing for automatic voter registration in Illinois. At a time of voter suppression by Repugs all across the nation, Illinois has the potential to add a million more registered voters.

But to vote for who?

And that becomes the principle issue.

How do we turn election campaigns into political movements that hold office holders accountable and elect progressives in the first place?

Money has definitely become a corrupting influence as never before.

My brother quotes Harold Wahington’s campaign manager, Al Raby, who said, we’re not leading an election campaign. We’re leading a movement.

David Orr reminds us that Harold’s election was in many ways a perfect storm of an arrogant, white, Democratic Machine, a movement and the perfect candidate.

We got to find a way to make that storm systematic.

Listen to the entire podcast here.

*Some of the pics in this post are by Lucy Gunderson Klonsky of Brooklyn, New York.

Hitting Left. Last week and Friday’s show.

It is frequently said that in Chicago, election politics is a contact sport.

Friday’s Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers features some major players: County Clerk David Orr and Chicago Votes’ Steve Valles.

We have a governor’s race coming up and this week Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced she would not seek another term.

Good for her.

Thanks to the efforts of Orr and Valles’ Chicago Votes organization, Illinois now has some of the most progressive election procedures in the nation.

Illinois? Would you believe it?

But making voting easier doesn’t mean we have the best candidates to vote for. That is a whole other can of worms.

We will be talking about voting rights, combatting voter suppression and better choices on Friday’s episode: 11AM. 105.5fm and streaming at

And you can download last Friday’s show with attorney Flint Taylor on podcast.

Peoples’ lawyer Flint Taylor on this Friday’s Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers.


I am looking forward to this Friday’s Hitting Left.

Our in-studio guest will be founding partner of the People’s Law Office in Chicago, an office which has been dedicated to litigating civil rights, police violence, government misconduct, and death penalty cases for 45 years.

Among the landmark cases that Mr. Taylor has litigated are the Fred Hampton Black Panther case; the Greensboro, North Carolina case against the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis; the Ford Heights Four case in which four innocent men received a record $36 million settlement for their wrongful conviction and imprisonment; and a series of cases arising from a pattern and practice of police torture and cover-up by former Chicago police commander Jon Burge, former Mayor Richard M. Daley, former State’s Attorney Richard Devine, and numerous other police and government officials, five of which have been settled against the City of Chicago and Cook County for a total of approximately $26 million.

Taylor’s work in fighting against police torture in Chicago over the past 29 years has been instrumental in obtaining the conviction and imprisonment of police torture ringleader Jon Burge and the precedent setting decision that upheld the inclusion of former Mayor Richard M. Daley as a co-conspiring defendant in the Tillman civil rights case. He also worked with the movement to obtain reparations for 60 survivors of Chicago police torture.

He has also represented Nanci Koschman in her case against the CPD and SAO for covering up the truth about the death of her son in order to protect the Daley family, was one of the lead lawyers in obtaining a $5 million settlement for 74 victims of illegal strip and body cavity searches by the Milwaukee Police Department, and now represents three victims of torture and abuse at the CPD’s secret interrogation site, known as Homan Square.

Mr. Taylor is a longtime National Lawyers Guild member, a founding editor of the Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Law Reporter, has extensively written and lectured in the field of civil rights litigation and police torture, and frequently appears on radio and television and at other public forums to discuss these topics. He has authored four law review articles on these subjects, and his articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun Times, The Nation, In These Times, the Huffington Post, Truthout, and Portside.

We will be live at 11AM, 105.5fm and live streaming at

The podcast will be hosted later on and on iTunes.


Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. Special 2 hour Labor Day edition #31.


Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers (podcast)
Airs Fridays 11AM (CST)
Talking education, politics and social justice!

An hour-long, weekly radio show featuring long-time political and education activists, the Klonsky Bros. They, along with their weekly special guests, review the latest happenings in the world of politics, media and culture, challenging the political establishment and hitting from the left side of the plate.

A genuinely hot show this week…as the air-conditioning went out in Studio B. Jamie smartly chose to run the event, poor Neil roasted behind the board.

On this special two hour edition:
Troy LaRaviere Danny Rodgriquez (SEIU), Cory Stevenson (educator), Craig Stevenson (educator), Anne Emerson (political consultant), Jennifer Klonsky (teacher and musician, member of Jackass Magnets), Joanna Klonsky (political consultant), Ellen Gradman and Lisa Kosowski, (activists in Jewish Voice for Peace).