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The 21st
Monday - Friday from 11AM to Noon

An hour-long discussion with the people most informed about the political, social and cultural issues affecting the State of Illinois with host Brian Mackey. Listen to The 21st each weekday at 11am.

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  • This week’s artist spotlight is Hollow Down, a band based out of Peoria that specializes in darker-sounding folk music. We learn about the band’s origins and the creative process of creating their sound.
  • In our weekly roundup of political news, we hear the latest updates of the perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial of a top aide to former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, and what Illinois thinks about former President Trump’s absence from the first Republican debate and arriving at the Georgia courthouse for his fourth indictment.
  • In our weekly roundup of political news, today’s show focuses on The Quad Cities and Bloomington-Normal, our conversation ranges from infrastructure, sports, and the arts.
  • The Big Ten Conference is adding the University of Oregon and the University of Washington into its ranks, expanding its membership to 18 schools. The expansion, characterized by mixed reactions, raises questions about its impact on existing dynamics and athletics. We dove into the motivations and complexities behind this move,
  • Illinois's new law mandating equitable compensation for children featured in monetized videos is the first in of the country's kind. We dive into the significance of fair compensation for minors on social media.
  • The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), allows the public to access certain government records, which helps keep government agencies accountable and transparent. However, the Judicial branch in Illinois is allowed to exempt itself from FOIA requests, which has led agencies under its branch, such as the Juvenile Detention Centers to stay hidden and remain unchecked.
  • Illinois will enforce full-day kindergarten by the end of the decade, we'll explore the arguments for and against this new policy, and its implications for districts, parents, and students.
  • As the nation prepares for the first Republican presidential primary debate, we delve into the topic of the party's rebuilding phase here in Illinois. We hear from a representative from the Illinois Freedom Caucus, an organization that is a symbol of the modern-day Republican Party in Illinois.
  • We explore the Republican party's journey from once being a red state to its current super-minority holding. We hear from political observers and former Republican figures who analyze how the impact of national politics influences the future of shaping the state's political landscape.
  • The Illinois National Guard is addressing harmful behavior among its members, by focusing on sexual violence, self-directed harm, and workplace harassment. We are joined by the leader of the new program to combat these societal issues and why it's important to install these preventative measures.