Happy Thursday, Illinois. Joe Biden accepts the nomination for president tonight during the last day of the virtual Democratic National Convention and has several tough acts to follow.
Who needs crowds at a political convention? Judging by the response on Twitter, Kamala Harris created just the enthusiasm the Democratic Party wants for its presidential ticket.
The historic nature of Harris’ nomination helped and your host was glued to her seat long before Harris spoke at the end of the night.
Hillary Clinton appeared in suffragette white with a pointed message for Democrats: don’t screw it up like last time. Barack Obama was as disappointed as any dad might be, saying President Donald Trump wasn’t up for the job as he shattered the unwritten norms about former presidents steering away from critiques of their successors. And who didn’t choke up when former representative and gun violence victim Gabby Giffords walked to the podium and spoke?
We caught Illinois Reps. Cheri Bustos and Lauren Underwood in a video about how women make a difference holding public office. “Health care is the No. 1 issue every day,” Underwood said in the clip.
And Jennifer Hudson’s performance in the Chicago Cultural Center was a stunner. She sang “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke. No surprise, the Chicago singer and actress, who will play Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic, sang Franklin’s version of the song.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took part in a Black Caucus event in the afternoon. She talked about creating a path for LGBTQ candidates, especially people of color. “We must have a seat at the table… What we’re experiencing now is people feeling frustrated and wanting a new compact with their government. We need to heed the call. People want to know that their lived experiences is reflected in public policy.”
And Illinois Democrats’ heavy hitters came together before the national convention was streamed to take swipes at Trump and address racial and economic justice issues.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul said there’s a silver lining that followed the George Floyd killing and subsequent protests: The unrest has “shed a light like never before on racial and economic inequities that we have tolerated and ignored for far too long.”
Raoul called for “vigorous debate” under the big Democratic tent over supporting activists and police during this period of unrest. “We shouldn’t be duped into believing that we have to take sides,” he said.
Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton spoke with a preacher’s passion: “We continue to subject Black and Latinx people to the stress and indignity of economic instability, without any sort of lifeline in the form of opportunity or social safety nets, and are somehow surprised at the profound damage created by this cycle. After the damage is done, we rely on policing and our criminal justice system to address the socio-economic fallout of racist and failed economic policies.”
State Treasurer Mike Frerichs put the inequities in even more stark terms, saying, between 2012 and 2018, 68.1 percent of dollars loaned for housing purchases went to majority-white neighborhoods–while just 8.1 percent went to Black neighborhoods and 8.7 percent went to Latino neighborhoods. Diversity starts at the top, he said, in corporate boards.
Reps. Bobby Rush (1st), Chuy Garcia (4th) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (8th) also weighed in, along with Marie Newman, the Democratic nominee for the 3rd Congressional District.
It all dovetailed with Harris’ vice-presidential acceptance speech, which focused so intently on the need to address structural racism.
It’s Kamala’s party now, write POLITICO’s Christopher Cadelago and Natasha Korecki
Convention takes ‘earth-shattering’ turn with focus on race, by POLITICO’s Laura Barrón-López and Alex Thompson
Obama torches Trump like American democracy depends on it, by POLITICO’s Ryan Lizza.
Speaking today: Arielle Maffei, VP of Alexander, Borovicka & O’Shea Government Solutions and president of the Young Democrats of Illinois, will speak during today’s video-conference of the Illinois delegation.
Politico Live’s DNC virtual programming:
- 9 a.m. ET Playbook co-authors Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman will interview Symone Sanders, senior adviser to the Biden campaign. Senior politics editor Charlie Mahtesian and national political correspondent Natasha Korecki will offer a deep-dive analysis of Wisconsin. And senior tech reporter Nancy Scola discusses Biden’s digital campaigning strategy with Caitlin Mitchell, senior adviser, Digital, on the Biden campaign.
- 1 p.m. ET, POLITICO chief economic correspondent Ben White hosts a discussion exploring how a Joe Biden administration would approach economic policies. Participants: Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), vice chair of the Joint Economic Committee; Jared Bernstein, former chief economic adviser to Biden; and Heidi Shierholz, an economist under the Obama administration.
- 8:30 p.m. ET "Four Square" features POLITICO’s Eugene Daniels breaking down the day’s relevant political developments with reporters Tim Alberta, Ryan Lizza and Laura Barrón-López.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: A federal judge in San Francisco has given initial approval to details of a class-action settlement that says Facebook violated Illinois privacy law with its facial tagging feature. Illinois Facebook users could be eligible for up to $300 as part of a whopping $650 million settlement.
Earlier this year, Facebook said it had agreed to pay $550 million in the class-action settlement — a move that was seen as a big victory for privacy advocates. The settlement has since been raised an additional $100 million to answer the judge’s “serious concerns” about the adequacy of the relief.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge James Donato gave preliminary approval of the settlement. Final approval will be determined in January, according to court filings.
The case challenged Facebook’s tag suggestions feature, which uses face-matching software to identify people in users’ photos. The suit said the California-based social media giant had violated an Illinois biometric privacy law because it collected facial data from millions of Facebook users without their permission.
According to the agreement, Facebook will pay $650 million to eligible Facebook users in Illinois as well as for plaintiffs’ legal fees.
What do you like (or not) about a virtual convention? Email [email protected]
At the 10th Police District to announce an expansion of the Neighborhood Policing Initiative and launching one of the mayor’s 90-day reforms.
No official public events.
On vacation and back to work Aug. 24.
The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 25 additional deaths Wednesday and 2,295 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Illinois. That’s a total of 7,806 deaths and 211,889 cases. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from Aug. 12 through Aug. 18 is 4.4 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is 4.9 percent.
— U. of I.’s saliva-based Covid-19 test receives FDA emergency authorization: “The FDA emergency use authorization was granted to the U of I’s test on the basis that it performs at least as well as a recently approved saliva-testing protocol developed at Yale University, setting a precedent that could allow other labs to follow suit,” by NPR Illinois’ Christine Herman.
— Pritzker’s campaign to get people to wear masks has gone digital. “It only works if you wear it” started popping up on Facebook and other social media Wednesday. In its first day, the @allinillinois pages, where the ad campaign is running, already received 2,300 page likes on Facebook, about 1,100 Twitter followers, and more than 500 Instagram followers. You can watch the ads on YouTube or view the entire campaign toolkit at allin.illinois.gov.
— Contact tracing apps have been a bust. States bet college kids can change that: “The tracing apps, announced with much fanfare early in the coronavirus pandemic, haven’t yet been in widespread use because of bureaucratic hurdles, early tech hiccups and public apprehension about privacy risks. But the contained environment of college campuses may be the ideal testing ground to boost lagging digital efforts to trace infections, say state officials and public health experts behind this push,” by POLITICO’s Mohana Ravindranath and Amanda Eisenberg.
— Worried about vote by mail? Here’s what you can do: “Having so many options can be confusing, even before you factor in the misinformation floating around,” by Better Government Association’s Marie C. Dillon.
— Test cancellations will leave a big hole in Illinois’ scorecard for schools: “The Illinois 2019-20 school report card will exclude statewide assessments that were canceled in the spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state Board of Education said Wednesday,” reports Chalkbeat Chicago’s Samantha Smylie.
— Dart urges Pritzker to extend eviction moratorium: Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart urged the current Saturday expiration date be postponed “until all city and county rent relief grants are dispersed…. ‘[I]t would be incredibly harmful to proceed with evictions when these funds are on their way to rescue so many tenants and landlords,’ he said,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.
— Illinois GOP to send 3 delegates to North Carolina to nominate Trump: “Illinois Republicans plan to send three delegates to their party’s presidential nominating convention next week, but there will be no delegation brunches, news conferences — or just about anything else beyond nominating Donald Trump, apparently,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
— Foxx foe gets boost from Guaranteed Rate CEO: “Saying Chicagoans ‘don’t feel safe,’ Victor Ciardelli says he’ll raise $100,000 and do more to aid state’s attorney hopeful Pat O’Brien,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— Ahead of key contract vote, CPS retools school police program: “Police assigned to Chicago Public Schools will be prohibited from entering students into a new “criminal enterprise” information system, which replaces a long-standing gang database, and police computer terminals will be removed from schools so officers can’t look up students, under changes announced Wednesday to the controversial school police program,” by WBEZ’s Sarah Karp.
— Lightfoot slams call for special City Council meeting: “Four aldermen want a state of emergency declared, paving the way for a four-month National Guard deployment. The mayor called the special session demand “grandstanding,” signaling she would ask her allies to stay away,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Doctors and lawmakers protest Mercy Hospital’s closure — but options are limited: “Mercy treats mainly low-income and elderly people of color — not the type of patients wealthier hospitals want to treat, but those getting sick and dying most of Covid-19,” reports WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch.
— Column: CTU bosses demand hazard pay for teachers in empty classrooms: “CTU leaders want public to believe their fighting for kids when behind closed doors they want extra money for less teaching,” writes Patch’s Mark Konkol.
— A federal judge is collecting stories of alleged police abuse during Chicago protests: “The activists shared their stories Wednesday during the first of two days of court hearings on the city of Chicago’s handling of civil unrest this summer. The second listening session is scheduled for Thursday afternoon,” by WBEZ’s Patrick Smith.
… Protesters allege rampant physical and verbal abuse by police at recent demonstrations, by the Chicago Tribune’s Dan Hinkel.
… ‘Fort Lori’: Chicago police ban protests on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s block, order arrests for anyone who won’t leave, by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt, Megan Crepeau and Jeremy Gorner. “The directive surfaced in a July email from then-Shakespeare District Commander Melvin Roman to officers under his command. It did not distinguish between the peaceful protesters Lightfoot regularly says she supports and those who might intend to be destructive, but ordered that after a warning is given to demonstrators, ‘It should be locked down.’”
— State lawmaker contemplates suing CPD after gun charge dismissed: “If this could happen to me, it could happen to absolutely anyone,” Rep Curtis Tarver told WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky.
— After another child shot, CPD asks for community’s help: “Surveillance video released by the CPD shows five males walking out of a gangway across the street. At least three of them can be seen firing toward the basketball court in the park before running off,” by Sun-Times’ Sam Charles.
— Will Emmett Till’s Chicago home finally get landmark status? “As the 65th anniversary of the Black Chicago teenager’s brutal murder in Mississippi approaches at the end of the month, there’s renewed effort to ‘honor the place where he lived before his life was taken from him,’ a cousin of Till’s said,” by Dennis Rodkinin Crain’s.
— With 24-hour horror fest canceled, Music Box Theatre will bring 31 nights of scary movies to Pilsen drive-in, by Block Club’s Jake Wittich.
There’s movement in the federal case against Ald. Ed Burke: “After months on the back burner, the bribery case against Chicago Ald. Edward Burke is expected to heat up Thursday when his lawyers file long-awaited motions challenging the government’s wiretaps and other evidence. How much of the material will be made public, however, remains to be seen,” writes Tribune’s Jason Meisner.
SCOOP: Members of the Lake County Democratic Party are pushing to oust state Sen. Terry Link as the group’s chair. A group of precinct committeepeople plan to call a special meeting to confirm new leadership for the Lake County Democrats. A change in leadership requires 25 percent of the 200-plus precinct committeepeople to call a special meeting. Link has been charged in federal court with filing a false tax return in 2016.
— Douglas, Menard statues to be removed from Illinois statehouse: “The board of the Office of the Architect of the Capitol voted unanimously Wednesday to place the statues Stephen A. Douglas and Pierre Menard in storage. However, that won’t happen overnight,” by NPR Illinois’ Sean Crawford.
— The Better Government Association has updated its Illinois Public Pensions Database, which analyzes how well (or how poorly) public-sector pensions in the state are funded. The service allows users to see the percentage of funding and the liabilities each pension fund or governmental unit faces.
— With new zoning approved, two businesses request city OK to sell recreational marijuana in Naperville: “Two companies, Green Thumb Industries and ZenLeaf Naperville, have submitted applications to sell recreational marijuana in Naperville under new zoning approved Tuesday that allows up to three dispensaries to operate in the city,” by Tribune’s Erin Hegarty
— Column: An architecturally arresting pot shop reveals how marijuana has gone mainstream: “How the times, our attitudes toward a once-illegal drug and architecture, have changed,” by Tribune’s Blair Kamin.
— Republicans quietly push mail-in voting despite Trump claims, by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar
— Trump calls for Goodyear boycott after company bans MAGA attire among employees, by POLITICO’s Max Cohen
— Win or lose, Trump’s new GOP is here to stay, by POLITICO’s Ally Mutnick
NFL’s first Black team president has a Chicago connection: Jason Wright, the new president of the Washington Football Team, majored in psychology from Northwestern University and got his MBA from University of Chicago. Wright also played football for Northwestern, rushing for 2,625 years, seventh most in team history, according to the New York Times, which wrote about his NFL appointment earlier this week.
Landmarks Illinois President & CEO Bonnie McDonald is one of three recipients of the James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation 2020 Mid-Career Fellowship, an annual grant given to distinguished professionals to conduct preservation research.
— Terry Peterson leaves his position as board chairman of the Chicago Transit Board on Sept. 1. He has held the seat for 11 years, making him the longest-serving board chairman in CTA’s history, reports Chicago Crusader.
— Adrienne Irmer has been named associate VP for External Affairs at Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech). Irmer, a legislative candidate in 2018, previously served on the legislative staff of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Irmer earned degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (bachelor’s) and City University of New York’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs (master’s). She was a National Urban Fellow and served as special assistant to the city manager in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Today: Democratic Rep. Barbara Hernandez (83rd) holds a live birthday fundraiser in Aurora — masks required. Details here
Sept. 3: Retired Gen. James Mattis headlines a Navy SEALS event in Chicago that will include live and virtual components. Host is Navy Seals Midwest. Details here
A funeral service for Gov. James ‘Big Jim’ Thompson was held Wednesday at the Cathedral of St. James in Chicago. Thompson’s family attended. The family says it is hoping to plan a more public memorial in the future. … Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared a statewide day of remembrance Wednesday in honor of Thompson. The governor’s office also launched a virtual guestbook for Illinoisans to electronically sign and share “favorite memories” of the state’s longest serving governor… Journalist Andy Shaw shared one of his memories in an essay in Chicago magazine.
Rep. Brad Schneider, WBEZ reporter Heather Cherone, gubernatorial deputy chief of staff for federal affairs Pat Collier IV, Rise Strategy Group CEO and partner Tarrah Cooper Wright, PSP Partners External Affairs SVP Jim Hock, Bully Pulpit Interactive partner Ben LaBolt, and Higher Glyphs Content Group founder Shannon Travis.
August 20, 2020 at 07:44AM