Blog #2: First Few Weeks

My first day working at the BGA, my supervisor introduced me to everyone in our small office.  Everyone was very friendly, which was relieving to know that I would be working in a warm work environment! I was immediately assigned to work under a reporter, Alejandra, and help her with her story that had a quickly approaching deadline.  The story focuses on malfunctioning elevators in public housing across Chicago.  Despite Chicago’s required inspections for elevators and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) spending millions of dollars on elevator renovations, many of the CHA buildings have elevators that don’t work, are never fixed, and leave many of the residents (many of whom are older) in danger. After filing a FOIA for the elevator inspection sheets, my first job was to go through the thousands and thousands of inspection sheets that were sent to us, and enter the data into a spreadsheet. Although time consuming and tedious, we found that many elevators never actually passed inspections, and some didn’t pass the required second inspection after not passing the first inspection.  Despite the inspection sheets showing that many elevators never passed, nothing was ever done prior to these inspections to fix the problems with the elevators.  Although this work is monotonous it is really cool to be such an important contributor to this story!

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