Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco covers substandard housing and police-community relations for WNIJ Radio in Illinois. An audio producer and journalist based out of Chicago, Ramirez-Franco has been a bilingual facilitator at the StoryCorps office in Chicago. As a civic reporting fellow at City Bureau, a non-profit news organization that focuses on Chicago’s South Side, he produced print and audio stories about the Pilsen neighborhood. Before that, he was a production intern at the Third Coast International Audio Festival and the rural America editorial intern at In These Times magazine. Ramirez-Franco grew up in northern Illinois, He is a graduate of Knox College.
Beat: Substandard housing and police relations in northern Illinois
This Reporter helps foster community engagement around pressing community issues in northern Illinois. The job carries the banner of giving voice to those who feel that they do not have one—not merely for the sake of conversation, but to validate their experience and encourage them to speak up. The journalist covers extensive reporting on housing in our region, and the very real dangers of living in substandard locations, the intersecting role of landlords, government, and residents as agents of change. A recent arrest led to calls of excessive use of force and a subsequent community meeting, and example of what this beat is devoted to covering.