Aurora Pension Discussion – Videos and Bios

by , posted on Monday, January 7th, 2013 at 4:15 pm

A special thanks to our distinguished panelists (list and video links below), State Representative Linda Chapa LaVia, East Aurora High School and all of the volunteers who helped make one of the first “democratic pension discussions” a success.

Other blog and press coverage of the event can be found at, Tim Furman’s blog, The Daily Herald, and The Aurora Beacon News (Suntimes affiliate).

Below the fold are all of the videos from the event.  We are also asking people to sign a petition that pushes for new funding proposals to fund pensions, create jobs and restore Illinois’ fiscal health.  These proposals are outlined by economists in the videos below.


Maria Owens – Pension History 101

Maria Owens Video Link

A career educator, Maria Owens has enjoyed over 30 years in education as a classroom teacher and administrator. Currently, Maria works as a Regional Induction Specialist with the Illinois New Teacher Collaborative in conjunction with the University of Illinois where she supports Induction/Mentoring Programs for beginning teachers throughout northern Illinois. Maria is active in both the IEA-Retired and the IRTA. She currently serves as V.P. for Programs for the West Suburban IEA-R and serves on the Executive Board of the DuPage Chapter of IRTA where she produces their bi-monthly newsletter.

Fred Klonsky – HB 6258 and the Politics of Pension Reform

Fred Klonsky Video Link

Fred Klonsky is a retired public school teacher and former president of the Park Ridge Education Association. He is a pension activist, public school advocate and long-time political activist. He writes daily on education, union and political issues on his widely-read blog,

Dr. Vincent Gaddis – How HB 6258 “Cost Shift” Impacts Aurora Students

Vince Gaddis Video Link

Dr. Vincent Gaddis is professor of History and chair of the Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies at Benedictine University. Dr. Gaddis received his Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University with a specialty in 20th century US policy history. He is the author of Herbert Hoover, Unemployment and the Public Sphere: A Conceptual History, 1919-1933. He is a frequent conference speaker with research interests in African American history, US social policy, and Global Studies. He is a resident of Aurora, Illinois and is active in local political and social movements.


Dr. Ron Baiman – Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes and Bailout

Ron Baiman Video Link

Dr. Ron Baiman is a founding member of the Chicago Political Economy Group. He has worked as Director of Budget and Policy Analysis for the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago, Research Economist for the Illinois Department of Employment Security, and as a researcher for: Loyola University’s Center for Urban Research and Learning, the Institute of Government and Public Affairs of the University of Illinois, and the Center for Urban Economic Development at University of Illinois at Chicago. He has also taught classes on economics at the University of Chicago, DePaul University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Roosevelt University where he was an Assistant Professor of Economics; published papers on economics in academic journals; co-edited a book: Political Economy and Contemporary Capitalism that received the Choice title for “Best Academic Title” in 2000. Ron holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research in New York City.

Dr. Bill Barclay – A Speculation Sales Tax

Bill Barclay Video Link

Dr. William Barclay is a founding member of the Chicago Political Economy Group (CPEG; Prior to retiring in 2004, he worked for 22 years in financial services. His areas of expertise were financial product creation, including development of derivative products, and business strategy planning. Currently he is an Adjunct Professor in the Liautaud College of Business Administration at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He serves on the boards of the Illinois Finance Authority and the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.

Dr. Jean Pierce – A Graduated Income Tax

Jean Pierce Video Link

Dr. Pierce is a retired professor and chair of the Faculty of Educational Psychology at Northern Illinois University. She received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Her research is focused on learning and motivation in education. She is actively involved with the League of Women Voters. At the national level, her essay about School Funding and Equity informed the membership when they created a position on the role of the federal government in education. At the state level, she is a specialist in Educational Funding.


State Representatives Video Link


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One Response to “Aurora Pension Discussion – Videos and Bios”

  1. […] LaVia, and a number of panelists held a joint forum to talk about Illinois’ revenue problem. You can watch videos of the economists and lawmakers speaking at the forum by following the link to … Share this:TwitterFacebookStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. from → […]

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