Good Wednesday morning, Illinois. I like that drive-ins are back. Now you can watch the Blackhawks next week at the Lincoln Yards theater (h/t Block Club).
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky is leading an effort to ban the remaining obstacles to abortion. She’s announcing new legislation today to repeal the Helms Amendment, which restricts organizations from using U.S. global assistance funds to help women access abortion care.
The veteran Illinois rep told Playbook it’s the first measure focused on repealing the controversial law.
Schakowsky is also working with other lawmakers on a bill to end the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding for most abortions.
“These efforts are part and parcel of the racial justice agenda. There’s an awakening that’s happening in this country,” Schakowsky said. She called the Helms and Hyde amendments “discriminatory” and “deeply rooted” in racism by imposing “arbitrary” and often unnecessary abortion restrictions on women of color.
The Helms Amendment, for example, affects women in developing countries. And the Hyde amendment restricts abortion coverage domestically, primarily among low-income women or those who work in government or the military.
Schakowsky’s co-sponsors are Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), and Norma Torres (D-Calif.).
Though a majority of Congress supports abortion, Schakowsky is offering up a bill at a time when the U.S. Senate and the White House are led by Republicans, who oppose expanding abortion rights. So immediate passage will be difficult.
Schakowsky says it’s a process. “We’re making good trouble,” she said, referencing the famous words of the late Rep. John Lewis.
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, supported both the Hyde and Helms amendments for decades. Though he supports Roe v. Wade, which makes abortion legal, he hasn’t always supported federal funding of abortions, citing his Roman Catholic faith. That changed last year, when he did a 180 and backed a ban on the Hyde Amendment. He hasn’t commented on where he stands on the Helms Amendment, and his spokesman didn’t return a request for comment.
The White House has made Chicago its poster child for violence since President Donald Trump took office. But the right has been obsessed with the city for decades.
Riots of the 1960s and violence at the 1968 Democratic Convention started the reputation. In the 1990s, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley went toe-to-toe with the National Rifle Association and the right over gun laws. When President Barack Obama came around wanting to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, the right locked in on Chicago.
As gun violence persisted, Trump and his conservative supporters used it as a “law and order” talking point. We’re seeing that today. While coronavirus deaths rise and the economy falls, Trump is putting his energies into Chicago’s violence problem, explains a POLITICO story by White House reporter Tina Nguyen and your Playbook author.
We talked to John Lott, a prominent conservative gun researcher, anti-gun advocates Rev. Michael Pfleger, Cure Violence Global founder Gary Slutkin, and former Obama adviser David Axelrod.
“What Trump is doing now — and I think this is part of his motivation — is to portray cities as dystopic hubs of illegality and crime. And there’s a heavy racial component to that,” Axelrod told us. “I think it’s a strategy to try to scare particularly suburban voters back into this column.”
Trump’s views on Chicago were fueled in part by the right’s focus on Obama, who during his administration sought to reduce gun violence by cracking down on the number of weapons.
“There’s no doubt that when Obama became president that the right wanted to use Chicago against him. It was his hometown,” Axelrod said.
Trump also poked at Chicago during Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration, likely, said Axelrod, because Emanuel worked as Obama’s chief of staff. The fact that three Chicago mayors — Daley, Emanuel and now Lori Lightfoot — sometimes criticized Trump regarding his lack of action on guns also may have irked Trump, who grates at any criticism.
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At the DuSable Museum’s Roundhouse Courtyard at 9:15 a.m. to announce a new campaign to encourage participation in the 2020 U.S. Census.
At the Thompson Center at noon for a Covid-19 update. Watch live
In the Fulton Market neighborhood at 2 p.m. to discuss Fulton Labs and expansion of Chicago’s “biotech ecosystem.”
Speaking during a National Association of Counties media briefing on the Senate’s HEALS Act and to address the need to fund counties.
The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 30 new deaths Tuesday to coronavirus and 1,076 new confirmed cases. That’s a total of 7,446 deaths and 173,731 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from July 21 to July 27 is 3.8 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is 5.6 percent, up from 5.4 percent the previous day. New York also added Illinois to its list of states whose travelers out east have to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
GOP infighting, Trump demands and frustrated Dems — ‘It’s a mess’: Republican senators deride key proposals in GOP virus package: Senate Republicans complained on Tuesday about key provisions in the GOP-authored coronavirus relief bill one day after its unveiling, as Democrats panned the proposal as a non-starter. The jockeying on Capitol Hill underscores how far apart both parties remain — and the treacherous path Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faces as he confronts internal GOP divisions and kicks off negotiations with Democrats… White House chief of staff Meadows, as he and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin left McConnell’s office Tuesday evening, said he believes the negotiations are in the “second inning." … “I think if Mitch can get half the conference, that’d be quite an accomplishment,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, via POLITICO’s Andrew Desiderio, Marianne LeVine and Heather Cagyle.
— City threatens fines for not self-quarantining: “[S]tarting this Friday, anyone who has spent more than 24 hours in Wisconsin should stay inside for two weeks upon getting to Chicago, or risk a fine of $100 to $500 per day for violating city statute,” reports Tribune’s John Byrne, Gregory Pratt and Robert McCoppin.
— As coronavirus cases continue to increase, state and city officials disagree on key metric: Illinois and Chicago gauge positivity rates differently. “The difference is due to the fact that state officials compare the number of positive tests for the coronavirus with the total number of tests conducted within a 24-hour period, while Chicago officials compare the number of positive tests with the number of individuals tested within a 24-hour period,” writes WTTW’s Heather Cherone.
— Study finds 6 ‘symptom clusters’ that may identify severity of Covid cases: Different flu-like symptoms, fevers (or no fevers), headaches, fatigue are among the six “symptom clusters” of coronavirus, according to a study by researchers at King’s College London that analyzed self-reported symptoms.
— Walgreens avoids hearing, pays 8 citations for mask violations in Cicero: “The citations were in violation of an executive order issued by the Town of Cicero in April,” via Sun-Times
— Kanye West, Willie Wilson facing petition challenge to make Nov. 3 ballot: “West, who filed papers this week to appear on ballots in New Jersey and Missouri, faces three challenges to his petitions, including one filed by Alvin Boutte of Chicago… Wilson’s petitions were challenged by Doris Turner, a Democrat and a Springfield alderwoman,” by Tribune’s Rick Pearson.
— Cortes joins Trump campaign: “Steve Cortes has stepped away after seven months as afternoon host at news/talk WIND 560-AM to join President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign as senior advisor of communications,” writes media reporter Robert Feder.
— Scores of House Republicans are suddenly sweating over losing their seats: “GOP leaders tout their chances to win back the majority, but falling poll numbers for Trump have some worried they could lose seats in November,” by POLITICO’s Ally Mutnick.
— Fundraising is strong for House Speaker Michael Madigan. According to the State Board of Elections, ChicagoLand Operators Joint Labor-Management PAC just gave $263,000 to Madigan’s political organization. Other big donations to Madigan: ChicagoLand Operators Joint Labor-Management PAC, $250,000; Chicago Journeymen Plumbers’ Local 130, $25,000; Associated General Contractors PAC, $5,000; Astra Zeneca Services, $5,000; and Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce PAC, $5,000. And Taft Stettinius & Hollister, the law firm that represents gambling companies and employs Rep. Michael Zalewski, also gave $5,000 (h/t WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos).
— Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has endorsed Eric Rinehart for Lake County State’s Attorney.
— ComEd battles on two fronts: Class-action lawsuit demanding refunds, federal court appearance on bribery scheme. “As ComEd made its first court appearance Tuesday since being hit with federal bribery charges involving House Speaker Michael Madigan’s political operation, the power company also dealt with a new class-action lawsuit demanding that customers be reimbursed at least $150 million for the benefits the utility gleaned from the scheme,” reports Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair and Jason Meisner.
— State senator joins select group of Dems insisting Madigan give up speaker’s gavel now: ‘It is clearly time for a change’: “While other Democrats have issued conditional calls for Madigan to resign only if charged or convicted, North Side state Sen. Heather Steans made no such qualification. ‘Serving as Speaker is not a right; it’s a privilege,’ she said,” by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.
— ENTERPRISE: Can Chicago find its missing students in time for fall? When remote learning started in earnest in April, some students “logged on late — something schools still considered a success — but others never logged on at all. Efforts to reach the students who fell out of contact offer a blueprint and a warning for the months of hybrid or remote schooling to come,” by Chalkbeat’s Yana Kunichoff.
— CPS parents skeptical of return to schools in first meeting on reopening plan: “CPS CEO Janice Jackson acknowledged families’ concerns but said even if CPS starts remotely in the fall, a plan for in-person learning will be necessary eventually,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— Mayoral allies unveil free Wi-Fi plan: “A handful of aldermen led by Gilbert Villegas (36th) held a news conference Tuesday to showcase ‘wireless, trenchless, solar-powered routers’ installed on Chicago Park District and CPS buildings,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— With some landlords raising rent, and limited financial help, many tenants fear for their future, reports CBS/2’s Tim McNicholas.
— Newly promoted CPD deputy chief dies in apparent suicide at Homan Square facility: “The death of Deputy Chief Dion Boyd was announced by CPD Supt. David Brown, who urged officers to take care of themselves: ‘There is no shame in reaching out for help.’ Boyd was sworn in as deputy chief of criminal networks on July 15,” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main, Manny Ramos, Mitch Dudek.
— They call themselves the ’Rona Quartet after virus that has kept so many musicians apart: “The four French horn players — all Chicago-area musicians — have been playing at various locations,” by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito.
— How to open a top-tier restaurant in a pandemic? Rethink everything: “Lofty visions have met hard reality” in opening Ever, which features “a pricey tasting menu and a world-class chef,” writes Marc Caro in the New York Times.
— Bottled Blonde surrenders licenses, closes for good: “The River North bar and restaurant had been in legal fights with the city for several years,” by Sun-Times’ Sam Charles.
— SCOOP: Chicago Sky guard/forward Kahleah Copper is being touted as a top contender for the WNBA’s Sixth Player Award.
— Suburban districts flip-flop, nix in-person learning for fall after initially planning to reopen schools: “Evanston and Elgin schools will be online after considering a hybrid model early on. But other districts, including Elmhurst and Batavia, are sticking with in-person components,” by Sun-Times’ Clare Proctor.
… Arlington Heights and Plainfield are latest to reject in-person classes in favor of remote learning only, by Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta reports.
— Pastors, murder victims’ families ask Foxx for robust witness protection program: “The state’s attorney’s office does have a victim and witness assistance program that received national recognition from the Department of Justice in 1999. Still, Rev. Ira Acree said the program does little to curtail the city’s gun violence,” by Tribune’s Javonte Anderson.
Indiana Libertarian Congressional candidate arrested in East Chicago: “The Libertarian candidate for Indiana’s First Congressional District was punched in the face Saturday while pinned on the sidewalk by an East Chicago police officer who was trying to arrest him, according to a video shared on social media. Mike Strauss, 38, was subsequently charged with intimidation, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and battering a law enforcement officer,” by Post Tribune’s Alexandra Kukulka.
As extra money for gig workers expires, delays in Illinois mean some may still be waiting for checks: “Though Illinois recently started processing more PUA claims from gig workers — it processed nearly 143,000 claims the week of July 4 up from about 113,000 claims the prior week — the numbers are still well below some other Midwestern states,” by WBEZ’s Mariah Woelfel.
Illinois is paying KPMG $6.7M to help it award marijuana licenses: “But state delays are mounting, and applicants say they are losing money,” by Tribune’s Ally Marotti.
Congressman Dan Lipinski attended a special advance screening Tuesday night of a new film, “Fatima,” at the Chi-Together Drive-in Movie Theatre at Soldier Field. "Fatima" is a faith-based film, and Lipinski has traveled to the Portugal town where the story takes place. Also attending: Choose Chicago Marketing Director Rita Chen and Sister Tracey of the Daughters of St. Paul. The movie comes out Aug. 28 On Demand.
Dems take pot shots at GOP Covid relief: “Durbin decries abortion restrictions, Garcia says fighter jets ‘don’t help families pay their bills,’ Duckworth lobbies for HEROES Act,” by One Illinois’ Ted Cox.
— Why Amazon may have the most to lose from tech’s Hill showdown, by POLITICO’s Leah Nylen.
— Barr won’t rule out pre-election release of Durham report, by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein
— ‘I happen to think it works’: Trump doubles down on hydroxychloroquine, by POLITICO’s Quint Forgey and Caitlin Oprysko.
— Trump on script but traditional behavior always comes back, by POLITICO’s Meredith McGraw.
— Thursday: Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton joins Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Director John Shaw in a free webinar about the Pritzker administration’s Covid-19 agenda, issues facing rural Illinois and programs that benefit women and girls. Details here
Tony Brown, the Washington Wizards assistant head coach and pride of Chicago, and Highland Park Councilwoman Kimberly Stone.
July 29, 2020 at 07:44AM