Hard Lens Media is a Chicago-based, independent media organization established in 2017, covering national and local news, grassroots organizations, and political issues. We focus on groups, events and individuals that do not typically have access to media coverage, with the goal of creating a more informed public.


Hard Lens Media provides activists, organizers, candidates and other groups with limited power, with a platform to reach a greater audience, while also informing our audience about lesser-known people that are making a difference.


Daniel Luepker bio pic

Daniel Luepker is the CEO and Co-founder of Hard Lens Media and 99 Perspectives and a native of Chicago.

Daniel was a member of Wolf-PAC Illinois which successfully passed a constitutional referendum followed by exposing corruption in the 2016 election.

He created Hard Lens Media and brought it to multiple radio stations and produced 3 seasons of television about Chicago, affecting 5 aldermanic races, and leading to an unprecedented number of democratic socialists in Chicago office. Daniel moved Hard Lens Media to YouTube, amassing 8 million views in it’s first 2 years. Daniel splits his focus with 99 Perspectives, which allows Chicagoans to follow the same path he did and create a productive space anyone can use.


Kit Cabello is the Co-Founder, Communications Director, and Host of Hard Lens Media. Kit is also a regular contributor to Chicago Corner.

Kit , a native resident of Chicago, served two tours in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in the United States Marine Corps. After, serving faithfully for four years, he was honorably discharged and chose to further his education at Northeastern Illinois University. Kit majored in Political Science, and minored in News Media and Communication. He was a member of the political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha, and graduated Cum Laude.

Kit believes that a well-informed populace that understands its political system, and a free independent media, are necessary for a functioning Republic. Kit also stands against money in politics, strongly opposing the disastrous ‘Citizens United vs. FEC’ Supreme Court ruling. In 2014 Kit and a team of political organizers from Wolf-PAC helped pass a resolution (SJR-42) calling to get money out of politics in the Illinois State House and Senate. This action also resulted in Illinois also being recognized by Congress as the first state calling for an Article 5 convention. 

Kit is also a connoisseur of Rye Whisky and well prepared hams.

Kira Macoun –

Fitness Guru, Bad Corporation Analyst, Curator/Pilferer of Contemporary Alley Art.

Kira Macoun experienced her first march in 2003 in Washington DC when she protested against the Iraq War. Since then she has been a part of flash mobs, bank sit-ins, civil disobedience, street theater, canvassing, lobbying & phone banking. She’s been a part of organizing for US Uncut, moveon.orgTYT Chicago, and was volunteer coordinator for a 40th Ward aldermanic campaign, which ousted a corrupt 36 year incumbent. She has marched and risked arrest on behalf of Occupy Wall Street, Democracy Spring and The People’s Lobby. You can find her as a featured organizer in the documentary film “We’re Not Broke”. She has also wrestled for the Mud Queens of Chicago since 2009, and holds the 2015 and 2016 championship belts. Kira owns two businesses, and is a wife and mom.




Lainie Petersen –

Consumer Advocate, Ordained Minister, National Treasure, and Host of HLM Civically Minded – possibly immortal.

What’s to say about Lainie that hasn’t already been covered in the collected works at the Library of Alexandria?


Phase – Disembodied Arm and Video Producer of Hard Lens Media.

Phase amazingly runs the entire livestream with only 4 fingers and a thumb. It’s really incredible.