The Progressive Fox is a political blog with roots in the Fox Valley of northern Illinois (the far western suburbs of Chicago, for those of you who do not live in the area), devoted to writing about all manner of things political, near and far, from a progressive point of view.

Progressives, or anyone who wishes to speak to the progressive community, are welcome to contribute, but the editors do reserve the right to delete posts or comments which they deem inappropriate for any reason. Content need not be limited to the Fox Valley necessarily, but posts concerning local politics should at least be limited to Illinois locales. If you’re not sure if what you want to post is appropriate for our blog, feel free to write us and ask. (see editor’s e-mail addresses below)

Submissions will by default appear on the “Union List,” a compendium of all posts published on the blog, which is located here. Promotion to the front page is entirely at the discretion of the editors, and generally tends to be limited to original material published exclusively at our bog. All posts, however, whether front -paged or not, will be listed in the “Recent posts” list in the order in which they were published.

Prospective contributors will need to register first, and it is strongly advised that they send a “head’s up” e-mail to the editors to alert them to the fact that a prospective post is pending.

The Editors:


Lisa Bennett (aka Downtowner) works as a consultant in community development and downtown management, having discovered late in life that her aversion to math is no barrier to a career that entails a great deal of number crunching. Her assignments include consulting for state, regional and local authorities in development of comprehensive plans and market analyses as well as the coordination of research, communications and public relations services. She can generally be located wandering the sidewalks of some Midwestern downtown or the other, but can occasionally be spotted as studying the façade of a great building on the West Coast, or the business mix of a historic downtown on the East Coast.

Lisa is a strong proponent of smart growth, the containment of sprawl, and their potential for positive impacts on the environment and has a lot to say –- if one is in the mood for a multi-layered soapbox lecture –- on the role strengthening our city centers has to play in stopping global warming.

Lisa Bennett’s background includes seven seemingly-never-ending horribly miserable years experience in customer relations and marketing with a Fortune 500 company, where she learned all about list management and envelopes. No, really.

Lisa graduated summa cum laude from Aurora University with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Communications. As might be expected from one with such a major, Lisa is addicted to books and spends a great deal of time haunting the local public library. When her hours at the library get out of hand, library officials sometimes remedy the situation by putting her on the payroll.

In 2006, Lisa Bennett, at the behest of the American Diabetes Association, wrote a quick email to her congressman requesting support for stem cell research legislation. Her congressman, then Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert, chose to formulate a response in the shape of a windy and patronizing lecture suggesting that he held some sort of moral high-ground by being willing to sacrifice her daughters life -– and the lives of countless others — for the greater principle represented by continuing to destroy unwanted embryos instead of using them for research.

Downtowner was born.

Downtowner has been haunting the liberal blogosphere since 2006. She still cares greatly about health care and stem cell research issues, but has come to the conclusion that the failure of our government to deal with these and many other issues fundamental to our lives have a common basis in the cessation of that quaint custom of yesteryear wherein our representative government represented us.

Blogging is the least she can do in such a crisis.

E-mail: downtowner1 [at] hotmail [dot] com


Jeffrey Hearn (aka n0madic) is an historian and research consultant. He was raised in the beautiful Fox River Valley of northern Illinois, in Aurora, Boulder Hill, and Oswego. From there he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, a master’s in history from Northern Illinois University, and was a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Maryland, College Park until he wised up and realized that, the profession of history being what it was, there wasn’t much of a future to look forward to in the academic world if one was a prematurely postmodern historian, and finally accepted his fate as an “independent scholar.”

He divides his time between Washington, DC and Illinois, but also spends a fair bit of time in Iowa at present, where he is researching a biography of former Iowa congressman and U. S. Capitol Historical Society founder Fred Schwengel.

He was a researcher on John Laesch’s 2006 and 2008 congressional campaigns (IL-14), and he has dipped a toe in other campaigns as far back as Fred Harris’ 1976 presidential campaign and as recently as Jamie Raskin’s run for Congress in MD-08 in 2016.

E-mail: n0madic [at] comcast [dot] net