Letter to the editor: Chicago Reporter’s important role

Chicago Tribune – Letters to the Editor (Online November 2, 2020 / Print edition November 3, 2020)

In response to the recent article “Group seeks to ‘save’ the Chicago Reporter” (Oct. 7), I’d like to echo that The Chicago Reporter is a coveted news organization, and it would be a major loss for Chicago’s African American communities if it doesn’t continue its investigative work.

People will often say, “Check with the Tribune.” I say don’t stop there. “Check with the Reporter.” That’s because the Reporter has historically reported on issues that my community, North Lawndale, and others on the city’s South and West sides face: predatory lending, unemployment, education, health care and police brutality, among others. It really speaks to systemic racism.

In 2015, my aunt, Lillie Pearl Williams, was in danger of losing her home after falling victim to a reverse mortgage scam. I was a source for an investigation into predatory reverse home mortgages that had robbed Black families on the city’s South and West sides of millions of dollars of intergenerational wealth. The story sparked a community campaign, legislative reform, the ability for dozens of people to stay in their homes and the conviction of an unscrupulous lender. The same reporter and I also worked on a national investigation of reverse mortgages that had even greater impact.

In these turbulent times, news that’s innovative and investigative is needed more than ever.

— The Rev. Robin Hood, Redeemed Outreach Ministries, Chicago

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