Lee Whack, Deputy Chief of Communications for Philadelphia Public Schools

Lee Main Portrait.jpg

Excluded from the interview excerpt below is just another chapter in a longstanding debate between Lee and me over Kanye West—the artist, the iconoclast, the mess, the genius. Like Kanye, Lee grew up in the Chicago suburbs, south of the city, in a town called Flossmoor. Growing up there gave Lee an opportunity to engage with the city, its best parts, when he wanted to. That privilege, however, comes with the essential responsibility of understanding, feeling, empathizing, connecting with the experiences of people less fortunate. Lee has done the work. His sense of right and wrong stands at his core, which might explain what led to his life in politics, or why Rahm Emmanuel lost his support after the Laquan McDonald verdict. Lee’s love for Chicago is complicated; he is both proud and critical, which is what what I believe it takes to be a responsible citizen: you believe this place can be better than when you first arrived.