David SchaperDavid Schaper is a NPR National Desk reporter based in Chicago.
A Tea Party supporter, left, argues with a critic before a rally where former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on April 16.
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A sign that reads "recall" hangs on a statue in front of the Wisconsin state Capitol last month in Madison. In the state Senate, as many as 16 senators — Republicans and Democrats alike — could face recall elections this year.
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Albert Stinson, 38, mentors 10 boys at Marshall High School, on Chicago's West Side. Most of them are affiliated with gangs and have criminal records — and are at serious risk for becoming victims of violence.
Marcus Spies was shot while taking out the garbage. He lives in Roseland, a tough south side neighborhood where gang fights claim lives and wound many. Spies says that one of the gangs wanted him to join up, but he declined. He believes they shot him in retaliation.
Demonstrators gathered outside the Ohio Statehouse last week to protest Senate Bill 5, which would have banned collective bargaining for state workers. Unions say legislation being pushed by Republican governors nationwide is an attack on their very existence.
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (center) stands among other mayoral candidates Carol Moseley Braun (from left), Miguel del Valle and Gery Chico before their debate on Thursday in Chicago.