American History, and a Memorial October, 2010
When Rob Mier died, in 1995, a good part of the national progressive community, in academia and neighborhoods, felt the loss. Rob was not simply an academic – professor of urban planning and policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and head of the Center for Urban Economic Development, a research unit in public policy and community development. “Not simply” because other teachers, at other schools, could match his academic pedigree. But Rob was … more. He was a professional engineer (a piece of his past that he used to great advantage in meetings and negotiations with government planning officials) and had a passion for activism in community development. Theory, yes, but always balanced with real community action.