Happy Wednesday, Illinois. We asked influencers what regulations they might cut to boost sustainability and the answers might surprise you.
SCOOP: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightoot and community leaders across the state have called on the Illinois congressional delegation to throw out a lifeline of federal emergency funding to recover from the Covid-19 outbreak, its economic consequences and to prepare for a resurgence of the virus.
The two-page letter obtained by Playbook expresses dire consequences if aid doesn’t come soon.
“Additional funding is necessary to deal with the ongoing burdensome impacts of Covid-19 on our local budgets and economies and to maintain jobs,” according to the letter signed by Lightfoot, North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham Jr., Hillside Mayor Joseph Tamburino and nine other elected officials. “We request that Congress expeditiously pass legislation to provide direct, flexible financial aid to our communities.” Rockingham is also president of the Illinois Municipal League, while Tamburino is chair of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.
The letter outlines how mayors are on the front line of the pandemic response and that without "direct, unrestricted" federal aid to Illinois communities, cities “cannot continue to function.”
The mayors say they’re also preparing for a resurgence of Covid-19 in the fall and that funding should also reflect an anticipation of this need.
“It is paramount that future funding provide the flexibility to cover lost revenue, so that we may continue our essential services; keep staff — including public safety and frontline workers — on the payroll; and meet the needs of our communities which have seen tremendous hardship,” the officials write. “We reject claims that such funding is a bailout for mismanaged governments. Many of us face legal mandates that require balanced city budgets.”
Indeed, Lightfoot and her budget team must present a financial analysis to the City Council later this month. That’s more easily done knowing what federal aid might come its way. Lightfoot has said property tax increases are on the table to help address budgetary problems that include a projected shortfall of nearly $700 million, which she warns could balloon further.
The mayors’ requests for economic relief is already Congress’ radar. On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she’s willing to delay or hold off on sending House lawmakers away for their summer break if it’s needed to negotiate an additional aid package that would benefit cities and states.
States look to Trump for a national plan to fight coronavirus, by POLITICO’s Dan Goldberg and Alice Miranda Ollstein.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Freshman Democratic Rep. Lauren Underwood raised more than $1.2 million in the second quarter of this year and has more than $3 million banked. That’s after raising $4.9 million for the entire 2020 election cycle, according to her campaign.
Underwood trounced state Sen. Jim Oberweis, the Republican challenging her for the 14th Congressional District seat. Oberweis raised $250,982 in the second quarter, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission, and he has $373,417 banked.
Don’t be deceived by Oberweis’ paltry numbers. He’s chairman of the Oberweis Dairy and has the means to self-fund his campaign. Oberweis already loaned himself $1 million for the competitive GOP primary, which he paid off to the tune of $500,000. The campaign is also relying on financial support from the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has put Oberweis on its Young Guns list to support.
That backing would need to come soon if Oberweis wants to match Underwood, who has the means to go up on TV weeks before fall.
“Jim bought ads during the primary, and I would expect us to do more TV in the General Election,” Oberweis spokesman Travis Akin said.
Anything could happen in this race as Underwood is a Democrat in a district that veers right. How far right? Gov. J.B. Pritzker won statewide in 2018 but lost the 14th by 8 points to Republican Bruce Rauner. And in 2016, Donald Trump won the 14th in Hillary blue Illinois.
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In City Hall for a morning update on Covid-19.
At the Thompson Center at noon for an update on Covid-19. Live feed
No official public events.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 25 new deaths to coronavirus on Tuesday and 707 new confirmed cases. That’s a total of 7,218 deaths and 155,506 cases. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from July 7 to July 13 remains steady at 3.0 percent.
— A potential Covid-19 vaccine has reached the final stages of testing: “The experimental vaccine, developed by Fauci’s colleagues at the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., will start its most important step around July 27: A 30,000-person study to prove if the shots really are strong enough to protect against the coronavirus,” by AP’s Lauran Neergaard.
— Lightfoot adds Iowa to Chicago’s quarantine list, won’t rule out Wisconsin if needed, by Tribune’s John Byrne
— During visit to Chicago, Azar says Fauci remains a ‘trusted adviser’: “Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday that Americans should not be concerned that infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci will leave the Trump administration, saying he remains a ‘trusted adviser’ of himself and the administration,” by Tribune’s Rick Pearson…. But White House trade adviser Peter Navarro counters: “Fauci has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on,” via USA Today. (Navarro has some interesting views on other topics, including how Californians "don’t see race.")
— Illinois’ patchwork system from transferring Covid-19 patients draws concern: “Some Illinois lawmakers are calling for the state to coordinate transferring COVID-19 patients between hospitals, and demanding more transparency from medical centers to know which ones actually have beds available. ‘The state must do better,’ said State Rep. La Shawn Ford, a Democrat who represents some West Side communities hit especially hard during the pandemic,” by WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch.
— Pritzker sidesteps question about rolling back reopening: “Again facing questions about whether Illinois needs to scale back its reopening as Covid-19 cases inch up, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday sidestepped any discussion of imminent changes and shifted the focus to bars as potential hot spots for transmission of the new coronavirus,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Propelled by the announcement that the owners of the Washington football team will change its mascot, state Rep. Maurice West says he’s bringing back a bill that would require Illinois schools to get tribal approval to keep team mascots that depict Native Americans, or risk being banned from sports tournaments.
The Rockford Democrat introduced HB 4783 back in February, and then the coronavirus hit, scrambling the agenda in Springfield. Now, with the NFL team changing its name, West hopes to capitalize on the momentum.
“This is long overdue and I applaud the franchise for doing what’s right. Redsk**ns is just as offensive and demoralizing to the Native American community as ni**ers is to the people who look like me,” West said in a text to Playbook. “Offensive, divisive traditions must end. It’s time for us to embrace more unifying practices.”
As we wrote back in March, West was inspired to propose the bill after a student-led petition drive at Hononegah High School in Rockton, outside of Rockford. The school’s mascot is the “Indians.”
West’s bill also calls for cultural education. If enacted, the measure would create a commission to oversee whether the 52 Illinois high schools using Native American imagery follow standards of the proposed law. The commission would include members of federally recognized tribes.
The bill already has the support of House Majority Leader Greg Harris. “It’s important to remove team names that are disrespectful and racist,” he told Playbook, adding that he likes that the bill requires consultation with Native American tribes.
Illinois has a long history debating Native American mascots. For decades, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign celebrated "Chief Illiniwek" by allowing someone to dance at sports games wearing an imitation headdress. In 2007, after years of protests by tribal nations — and pressure from the NCAA — the university officially retired the mascot, though an unofficial "chief” has continued to show up at games and events. Enlightenment on the issue is likely to put an end to that, too.
— Takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries: Trump humiliates Jeff Sessions, Senate battleground hardens: “President Donald Trump’s interests in Tuesday’s primaries went beyond politics and his grip on the Republican Party. Tuesday night was personal for Trump — and, on that measure, he won,” by POLITICO’s Steven Shepard and James Arkin.
— Some Republicans skipping Florida: House GOP leader Jim Durkin told reporters Tuesday he won’t be attending the Republican National Convention festivities in Florida. “It’s not going to be a safe environment,” he said. And Rep. Darin LaHood said he’s not going, either, according to the New York Times. “As new cases surge in Florida, including 15,300 reported on Sunday, more Republicans are taking a wait-and-see approach to the event, or deciding to skip it all together,” the Times reports.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Today is Tax Day so the folks supporting the graduated income tax proposal on the November Ballot are out with a new ad campaign that will pop up on the homepages of the Tribune, Sun-Times, and local news sites around the state, according to the Vote Yes for Fairness campaign. The ads say passing the graduated income tax would “set things right” by taxing the state’s “millionaires and billionaires” more than “working families.” Similar language is used on the seven digital ads floating around on Facebook, YouTube, and Hulu. Here’s one called Set Things Right.
— SPOTTED ON THE ZOOM: Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Robin Kelly sat down for a conversation with Kris Brown, who heads Washington, D.C.-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The virtual fundraiser for Durbin and Kelly focused on work centered on gun-violence prevention. Notable attendees included state Rep. Robyn Gabel, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, and Tom Vanden Berk, a long-time Illinois advocate for sensible gun laws and gun violence prevention. During the event, Rotering told a story of Durbin once connecting her to the Brady Center, which provided Highland Park with legal help when the National Rifle Association sued the city in 2013 over its ban on assault weapons. The case made its way all the way to the Supreme Court, where the NRA ultimately lost.
— Chicagoans may soon get more notice of rent increases: “The Fair Notice Ordinance, as it’s been called, would require landlords to give most renters a 60-day notice that they plan to end a lease agreement or raise the rent. If a tenant has been living at a property for more than 3 years, they would get 120 days. The current requirement for landlords to give notice is one month,” writes WBEZ’s Becky Vevea.
— CPD has evolved, no longer aiming to ‘impose our will,’ retiring high-ranking cop says: “We got to just say, ‘We’re going to come in, and we’re going to work with you to make your community safer so your kids can play in the park. And our kids can play in the park,’ Anthony Riccio says,” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main.
— Lightfoot says final decision for Chicago Public Schools opening might not come until late August: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday said it’s too soon to decide whether to reopen Chicago public schools this fall in spite of the coronavirus, but promised the school district will shortly announce plans to begin talking with parents and others about the best way to proceed,” by Tribune’s John Byrne.
— Public health advocates mount full-court press to save Chicago ban on flavored tobacco products: “Some store owners have accused Ald. Matt O’Shea of “kicking them when they’re down.” As for specific changes O’Shea is willing to make in his ordinance, he said there’s talk of exempting hookah products and menthol cigarettes,” by Fran Spielmlan.
— 1/5 of schools lack enough local school council members to vote on keeping police: “Chicago Public Schools wants local school councils to vote on having police in their schools, but a fifth don’t have an LSC or lack a quorum,” by WBEZ’s Sarah Karp.
… Decision on cops in schools highlights uneven role of CPS local school councils, writes Sun-Times Nader Issa.
— City Colleges will wipe out debt of former students who return, Lightfoot announces in push to boost post-Covid recovery: “Aiming to boost Chicago’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery, the “Fresh Start” initiative will offer those who left City Colleges in good academic standing over the past 10 years the chance to complete their degrees or certificates debt-free, as soon as this fall. The mayor’s office estimates this group of former students currently holds $17.7 million in debt,” reports Tribune’s Sophie Sherry.
— Freeze on development along 606 Trail extended for 6 months amid pandemic: “Aldermen unanimously agreed Tuesday to ban demolitions near the 606 Bloomingdale Trail for another six months as aldermen craft a measure to blunt rapid gentrification along the popular trail. With the endorsement of the City Council’s Committee on Housing and Real Estate, the measure heads for a final vote at the full City Council meeting July 22,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.
— Column: No mail for weeks: Is Postal Service ‘Falling Apart’ In Chicago? Writes Patch’s Mark Konkol.
— Manny’s Deli takes to social media to plead for support: ‘We are struggling. This isn’t a joke,’ by Tribune’s Phil Vettel.
Ald. Tom Tunney is featured in this “Legendary Eats” episode about Ann Sather restaurant (filmed before the Covid-19 rules). Along with the history about how he came to own the restaurant, Tunney shows how the famous cinnamon rolls are made.
Opioid overdoses keep surging in Chicago, killing Black people on the West Side: “Cook County residents continue to die at a staggering rate from opioid-related overdoses, and Black residents from Chicago’s West Side account for a disproportionate number of those deaths,” by ProPublica Illinois’ Duaa Eldeib and Melissa Sanchez.
Joliet police release videos of Eric Lurry’s death in police custody as lawyer calls investigation a ‘coverup’: “The videos were released amid growing controversy around the officers’ actions during Lurry’s Jan. 29 arrest during an undercover drug sting,” by Sun-Times’ David Struett.
— House GOP again demands ethics reform legislation: “With fewer than four months remaining until the general election, House Republicans said Tuesday they want to remind Illinoisans of Democratic lawmakers’ “failure” to address corruption in the General Assembly,” by Capitol News’ Rebecca Anzel.
— Still no gameplan for school sports this fall: “The [Illinois High School Association] eased restrictions in July, allowing for things like contact scrimmages for football. But just days later, it changed course and instituted more rules. Schools that had scheduled scrimmages and other summer activities, like 7-on-7 football, had to hit the brakes,” by NPR Illinois’ Sean Crawford.
— More people seeking addiction treatment, rehab centers say: “According to [Mercedes] Kent, Gateway Foundation in Springfield admits 35 to 40 patients per week at the residential facility, and serves between 75 to 100 people per day in both telehealth and in-person groups for alcohol and drug treatment – an increase in admissions prior to the pandemic,” reports NPR Illinois’ Olivia Mitchell.
Higher than expected: Illinois’ $52.8M take from weed sales double what state projected: “Recreational marijuana sales have continued to rise throughout the pandemic, while many other retailers saw sales drop off. Dispensaries set a monthly record in June, when they sold $47.6 million worth of recreational pot,” by Tribune’s Ally Marotti.
— Trump escapes blowback from Roger Stone — and again energizes his base by POLITICO’s Tina Nguyen
— Republicans are breaking from Trump’s coronavirus talking points, by POLITICO’s Caitlin Oprysko
— Voters reject Trump insistence that schools reopen, via POLITICO/Morning Consult poll
— Trump rails against Biden, China in Rose Garden stemwinder, by POLITICO’s Caitlin Oprysko
Mark Copeland, senior policy adviser for Sen. Tammy Duckworth, and Anne Knapke, a senior program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, welcomed George Henry Francis Copeland on June 18.
Rep. Dan Lipinski, Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr., Bloomberg reporter Liana B. Baker, Illinois Policy Institute VP Austin Berg, Executives’ Club Content and Communications Officer Eva Penar, and Shay Robinson, the chief of staff to Commissioner Bridget Gainer.
July 15, 2020 at 07:40AM