Sylvia Snowden is making sense of Chicago politics on CAN TV

Host of talk show wants to make viewers love Chicago and the city’s politics
Sylvia Snowden, host of “Political Forum” (Photo courtesy of CAN TV)

Sylvia Snowden is helping Chicagoans understand the connection between what happens in the halls of government and what happens in our neighborhoods.

Snowden is the host of “Political Forum,” a staple of Chicago political commentary that is relaunching this week and will be airing every Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT on CAN TV 19 and streaming online at cantv.org.


“So many people see politics as a bunch of big shots bloviating about things they don’t understand,” says Snowden. “My goal is to make people love Chicago and Chicago politics as much as I do. We talk about issues impacting your daily life through a political lens.”

The show is a rare opportunity for deeper conversations, not short sound bites. On the show, Snowden sits with local legislators and political newsmakers for one-on-one interviews to discuss the most important political headlines in the city.


“We have a dialogue where people can actually get informed,” says Snowden. “That kind of long-form conversation is rare.”

Snowden is a native Chicagoan who grew up in the South Side neighborhood of Calumet Heights. After earning a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, Snowden moved back to Chicago and began her career at CAN TV, Chicago’s community access station, where she worked behind the scenes on earlier versions of the show. Fifteen years later, she’s an award-winning broadcast journalist and production supervisor at the station.

Snowden’s local roots and love of Chicago means she provides a unique perspective.

“A lot of traditional political analysis isn’t coming from a Black girl raised on the South Side who went to Chicago Public Schools all of her life,” says Snowden. “A lot of people haven’t seen politics discussed through my lens.”

As the newest host of “Political Forum,” Snowden has left her own stamp on the show, keeping its signature conversations with local leaders while pushing guests to dive deeper into the issues. Snowden says the COVID pandemic accelerated the evolution of the show.

“There was a gravity in that moment. People wanted to know in March of 2020 if they would be alive in six months,” says Snowden. “When you’re living in that state, you have to be honest with people. We have fundamentally shifted the show away from what we thought might make people comfortable to what people really wanted to know.”

Recent episodes featured exclusive interviews with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx about a wide range of issues, and an extended conversation with Anjanette Young about her activism to hold police accountable in the wake of a botched police raid.

“You can love something and still see its flaws and talk about those things, but that doesn’t mean you love it any less. We can talk about the challenges Chicago faces, but we can do it in a way that makes it obvious this is a wonderful city, a remarkable place,” says Snowden.

“Political Forum” relaunches this week, part of CAN TV’s new signature programming block – five new programs airing weeknights at 7 p.m. CT.

For more information, visit www.cantv.org.

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