A Note From the Institute About COVID-19

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Dear Friends,

This is obviously a difficult and disorienting time for all of us. Because of the public health threat posed by the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute has suspended its public programs for the rest of the spring. However, I want to assure you that our work continues—and will even intensify—in the weeks ahead. 

As we discuss below, the Institute has just published Restoring American Statesmanship: A Citizen's Guide. We sent this guide to the members of the Illinois congressional delegation, leading journalists, and senior public officials. I described its central themes during recent meetings in Washington, D.C. I presented the guide to Senator Richard Durbin, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Congressman Darin LaHood, and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and underscored the Institute’s commitment to promote statesmanship in the months ahead. We are committed to resurrecting this critical concept from the dusty pages of history books and use it to illuminate and inspire public affairs in the United States.

The Institute’s Renewing Illinois Summit for Illinois university students was scheduled for April 2-3; we are now hoping to hold it this fall. Our theme in 2020 is One Illinois: Noble Aspiration or Impossible Dream? We are eager to convene high-minded and public-spirited students from across our state to explore how we can better forge a common identity and a sense of shared destiny in Illinois. The Institute will soon release a background book for the Summit’s participants and the interested public. It will include a superb essay on Illinois history by a distinguished historian, Roger Biles, reflections on One Illinois from several elected officials, and a wonderful article about a journey from the northern border of Illinois to its southern tip. 

We are all looking forward to that day—hopefully soon—when we can travel easily and enjoyably in our state, the rest of the United States, and abroad. 



John T. Shaw
Institute Director