In May 2019 Chicago Reader published a two-year-long investigation into Pangea Real Estate by staff writer Maya Dukmasova that found the company had filed roughly 9,000 eviction cases since 2009. What’s more Dukmasova’s reporting revealed that little is known about Chicago’s larger eviction court system and the 20,000 cases filed there annually. “It’s difficult to overstate the degree of historical disinterest in the eviction of renters in Chicago . . . rental housing in poor neighborhoods went largely unexamined—particularly the financial and social dynamics between landlords and tenants.” Dukmasova wrote in the piece.
This week at the #PublicNewsroom Dukmasova will share a breakdown of her investigation into Pangea as well as an historic overview of eviction court and tenants’ rights. The evening will also feature a panel of experts including Mark Swartz from the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing and Steve McKenzie, a long-time attorney for the city who litigates against landlords for building code violations. (Other panelists will be announced in the coming weeks.) Attendees will also participate in a series of activities and small group discussions around renters rights and learn to research building history and ownership using public databases.
Refreshments will be provided.
City Bureau’s #PublicNewsroom is a series of free, weekly workshops and discussions aimed at building trust between journalists and the communities they serve while shaping a more inclusive newsroom.