Happy Thursday, Illinois. The vaccine has revved up, the election is wrapped up, and a stimulus bill is in sight — except for cities and states, write POLITICO’s Stephanie Murray and Kellie Mejdrich. “It is madness.”
A video of a Black social worker naked and sobbing as white police officers handcuff her during a botched raid on the wrong home has shaken City Hall.
There are two points of concern. One is how police treated an innocent woman in her own home. The other is how the city’s Law Department tried to keep the police bodycam video from going public.
The latter is a festering wound in Chicago after former Mayor Rahm Emanuel went to court to keep the video of Laquan McDonald’s murder quiet. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a former Police Board president, co-chaired the Task Force on Police Accountability at the time.
On Wednesday, she addressed both points, apologizing to Anjanette Young for the humiliation she endured that day nearly two years ago, before the mayor was in office. Lightfoot called the incident “appalling” and pointed out that such mistreatment “happens to Black and Brown people disproportionately.”
The mayor also zeroed in on the city’s Law Department and the revelation that it tried to prevent CBS/2 from airing the video.
The First Amendment generally prohibits courts from stopping news organizations from publishing information that is obtained legally.
“Had I been advised that this was in the works, I would have stopped it in its tracks,” Lightfoot told reporters of the agency’s efforts to block the video. “This is not how we operate. Period.”
The mayor has got to be frustrated. She already worked to overhaul how warrants are executed to avoid this kind of situation. Lightfoot said her voice was hoarse from dressing-down Corporation Counsel Mark Flessner and police brass over the incident and the fact that she was “blind-sided” by it all.
But the apology, admonishment and a pending investigation didn’t temper the anger from other politicos.
In a tweet, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle criticized the police department, saying it “operated under a code of silence and has defied repeated calls for reform.”
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx directed her anger at City Hall: “The audacity that the city calculated its embarrassment over the release of the video, is a clear violation of Ms. Young’s body and autonomy,” she tweeted. “This is what’s wrong with our criminal justice system, this is why there is a lack of trust.”
And Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, who like Lightfoot, Preckwinkle and Foxx is a Black woman and mother, expressed anguish. “This could have been you. It could have been me. She was traumatized, dehumanized, and humiliated. And this is unacceptable.”
The Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman has more takeaways from members of the City Council, including Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th) who called for “an immediate investigation” but also expressed support for Lightfoot. “She ran on transparency and good governance and I know — I’m very confident that justice will be served for Ms. Young.”
The woman in the video wants ‘accountability.’ She’s filed a lawsuit over the city’s denial of her Freedom of Information Act request seeking footage of the home invasion, by WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Cook County Commissioners are expected to pass a measure today that designates Juneteenth as an observed, paid holiday for county workers.
“It’s been a long time in coming,” Commissioner Stanley Moore told Playbook. He and Commissioner Dennis Deer have sponsored the legislation and have gathered support for passage. “We’ve been advocating for Juneteenth for some time. It was always about whether we could find the right time and the dollars to put it together as a holiday. This is the time to start putting things behind us and tell the truth about our history.”
The holiday is personal for Moore, whose great-great grandmother was taken from Angola Africa and sold into slavery in Richmond Virginia, he said.
“It’s a proud moment for me, an emotional moment, after tracing my family history back to slavery to say now, almost 200 years later, I’m creating a holiday in honor of family who served as slaves.”
The county’s vote on a Juneteenth holiday follows the Chicago City Council recently voting to make Juneteenth a day of observance, stopping short of making it a full holiday.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day that news of freedom finally reached enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.
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No official public events.
At the Thompson Center for the 1:15 p.m. Covid-19 update. Watch the update live
Presiding over a virtual meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners at 10 a.m.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday reported 146 deaths and 7,123 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus. That’s a total of 14,655 fatalities and 870,600 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from Dec. 9 through 15 is 8.5 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 12 percent.
— PRITZKER SAY FEDS CUTTING VAX DOSES: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker and federal health officials clashed Wednesday over whether the state’s next two shipments of Pfizer’s new coronavirus vaccine were being cut back, putting on display the logistical complications of a massive vaccination distribution effort that’s slowly getting off the ground in Illinois. Pritzker began his daily Covid-19 briefing Wednesday by saying anticipated shipments nationwide in the next two weeks both have been cut in half, which “will likely cut our state’s projected Pfizer shipments this month roughly by half.’ But a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said ‘Operation Warp Speed remains on track to allocate enough vaccine for about 20 million Americans to receive their first doses before the end of the month,’” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella, Lisa Schencker and Gregory Pratt.
… The delay is causing a snag in Illinois long-term care facilities, home to tens of thousands of people particularly vulnerable to Covid, reports WBEZ’s Chip Mitchell.
… Indiana may see reduced Covid-19 vaccine shipment next week, officials say, by Tribune’s Meredith Colias-Pete
… And state and federal officials are clashing over the size of future shipments: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker began his daily Covid-19 briefing Wednesday by saying anticipated shipments nationwide in the next two weeks both have been cut in half, which ‘will likely cut our state’s projected Pfizer shipments this month roughly by half,’” from the Tribune’s Dan Petrella, Lisa Schencker and Gregory Pratt.
DO NOT SKIP THIS — ‘We want them infected’: Trump appointee demanded ‘herd immunity’ strategy, emails reveal: Then-HHS science adviser Paul Alexander called for millions of Americans to be infected as means of fighting Covid-19, writes POLITICO’s Dan Diamond. A top Trump appointee repeatedly urged top health officials to adopt a “herd immunity” approach to Covid-19 and allow millions of Americans to be infected by the virus, according to internal emails obtained by a House watchdog and shared with POLITICO. “There is no other way, we need to establish herd, and it only comes about allowing the non-high risk groups expose themselves to the virus. PERIOD,” then-science adviser Paul Alexander wrote on July 4 to his boss, Health and Human Services assistant secretary for public affairs Michael Caputo, and six other senior officials. “Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…” Alexander added.
— Roseland Community Hospital makes symbolic choices for first five employees who will be vaccinated: “The Far South Side hospital, which treats patients regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay, has carried a tremendous weight over the past 11 months. As the Roseland neighborhood has suffered a coronavirus death rate 67% greater than the citywide average, the staff opened a 40-bed COVID ward, provided inpatient care to 320 people and conducted more than 25,000 tests in a community that has long suffered from the city’s health care inequities. It hasn’t always gone smoothly,” by Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair and Brian Cassella.
— Groups mount lobbying blitz to be next in line for Covid shots: “Teachers, firefighters and camp counselors all say they should be next in line to get coronavirus vaccinations. The question is who’s most ‘essential.’ The Centers for Disease Control will begin to settle that on Sunday, when an advisory panel will recommend who should follow medical workers and nursing home residents in the next tier for immunizations,” by POLITICO’s Rachel roubein and Brianna Ehley.
— VA employees with coronavirus were allowed to work at LaSalle home where 33 veterans died: “Illinois Veterans’ Affairs officials acknowledged Wednesday that a complaint has been filed with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration over employees who tested positive for COVID-19 but continued to work at the state’s home in LaSalle where a deadly outbreak sickened more than 200 workers and residents. Staff members at LaSalle were not required to work after testing positive for the virus, but some chose to do so, Tony Kolbeck, chief of staff for the state VA department, said after being asked by legislators at a state House committee hearing whether employees were pressured to stay on the job,” by Tribune’s Jamie Munks.
STIMULUS TALKS: They’re dragging on as leaders say deal is close: “Talks are more urgent as Congress inches toward a government shutdown deadline on Friday evening,” by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett, Heather Caygle and Jake Sherman. Asked what the hold-up was, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said: “Why this takes so long is because we procrastinate and we pretend just one more day and we’ll get a better deal.”
Meanwhile, a video tweeted out by Alexi Giannoulias appears to have hit a nerve. In the minute-and-a-half spot, the former state Treasurer criticizes Washington for not getting stimulus checks to struggling families and businesses. “American people need help. Do your job, Congress,” he says. The post has more than 437,000 views.
— BUTTIGIEG: O’HARE IS FOR LOVERS: During Wednesday’s introduction as Joe Biden’s choice for transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg recounted how he proposed to his husband, Chasten, at the Chicago airport. “Don’t let anybody tell you that O’Hare isn’t romantic,” Buttigieg said. O’Hare leaned into the sentiment. It switched up its official twitter bio to read: “Place of romance.” And the airport tweeted: “Thank you for appreciating all the connections we make possible @PeteButtigieg. Looking forward to working with you as we continue to make our airport lovable for decades to come.”
… You could say O’Hare was glowing Wednesday. Along with the Buttigieg accolades, Global Traveler magazine announced that O’Hare was named the “Best Airport in North America.”
— Biden points to ‘precedent-busting appointments’ as he rolls out Buttigieg pick: “Buttigieg’s youth also comes with inexperience — particularly in the field of transportation policy — and leading the Department of Transportation is something of a consolation prize after he was passed over for a gig he coveted: ambassador to the United Nations, which went to Linda Thomas-Greenfield,” by POLITICO’s Nick Niedzwiadek.
— Thumbs-up from Samuel Skinner: The former U.S. Secretary of Transportation in the Bush 43 administration called Biden’s nomination of Pete Buttigieg for the same job “an excellent decision,” he said in a statement to Playbook. Skinner said Buttigieg’s “understanding of the infrastructure challenges” facing cities and states is critical to revitalizing the economy. “If confirmed, he will be supported by career government professionals at the USDOT who understand the importance of public service.” Skinner is a former U.S. attorney in Chicago who after his stint in Washington, D.C., worked in Chicago’s business community in various roles.
— Monarch butterflies qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act, but they won’t get it this year: “Illinois’ state insect could be listed in the future. The wildlife service intends to propose listing the monarch as an endangered or threatened species in 2024, if the insect is still found to need protection. In the meantime, the monarch’s status will be reviewed each year and an emergency listing is also possible, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” Tribune’s Morgan Greene reports.
— Illinois hangs over a ‘solar cliff’ — and developers gaze into the unknown: “The final incentives from the state’s 2017 Future Energy Jobs Act were awarded on Monday as solar developers plead for a legislative fix next month. State incentives for small solar installations in Illinois have officially run out, leaving the state’s industry looking over the ‘solar cliff’ that developers and advocates have long warned about,” by Energy News Network’s Kari Lydersen.
— Public-private partnership supplies recycled computers to 1.1M Illinois households: “The new Computer Equity Network grows out of the $420 million plan to Connect Illinois by providing broadband across the state by 2024. It basically sets out to put the computer boots on the ground to take advantage of the expanded access,” by One Illinois’ Ted Cox.
— Lightfoot introduces plan to close loopholes allowing police to cooperate with immigration agents: “The mayor’s proposed ordinance would no longer let Chicago police cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents if arrestees’ names are in Chicago’s gang database, if they have charges or convictions in their background, or if they have criminal warrants,” by Tribune’s John Byrne and Gregory Pratt.
— More than 6 in 10 CPS kids — including most students of color — won’t be in schools when in-person learning resumes: “The long-awaited news of how many students may return to CPS classrooms came as the Chicago Teachers Union said “all options are on the table” if an agreement can’t be reached with the district over a safe reopening,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— Column: 10 ways architecture may change Chicago in 2021, the Year of the Question Mark, by Tribune’s Blair Kamin.
— SWEET STORY: 7-year-old raises $22,000 for children’s hospital with friendship bracelets: “Hayley Orlinsk has sold some 9,000 bracelets to raise money for Covid-19 equipment at the hospital that cared for her as an infant,” via the New York Times.
Chicago organizations benefit from MacKenzie Scott’s generosity: Scott, author and ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has so far given away about $4 billion. United Way of Metro Chicago received $25 million, the single largest donation in the organization’s history, reports Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito. YWCA Metropolitan Chicago received $9 Million, Community Investment Corp., $8 million, and Chicago Community Loan Fund, $10 million. In a blog post, Scott describes how she selected the 384 organizations to receive a total of $4.158 billion.
3 Floyds permanently closing Munster brewpub: “As of December 1, 2020, we have decided to permanently close 3 Floyds Brewpub. This decision was not easy for us, but at the end of the day, the safety of our customers and staff will always be our top priority,” 3 Floyds wrote in a letter to investors. The craft brewery plans to continue to brew craft beer that’s distributed across the Midwest and is widely available across Northwest Indiana and greater Chicagoland. It also will continue to offer curbside pickup in Munster,” reports the Times of Northwest Indiana.
Prosecutors recommend 15-month prison sentence for former Whiting mayor: “Prosecutors recommend that former Whiting Mayor Joseph Stahura spend just over one year in prison for wire fraud and filing a false income tax return, according to court records…Prosecutors recommended that Stahura, 64, serve 15 months in prison and pay a $7,500 fine, “which are each at the low end” of sentencing guidelines for the charges, according to court records,” by Post-Tribune’s Alexandra Kukulka.
— Pence prepares to confirm Trump’s loss — and then leave town, by POLITICO’s Gabby Orr and Nahal Toosi
— How secession became America’s favorite idle threat, by POLITICO’s Jack Shafer
— GOP launches legal war on absentee voting ahead of Georgia runoffs, by POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro and James Arkin
— Never-Trump movement splinters as its villain heads for the exit, by POLITICO’s Laura Barron-Lopez and Holly Otterbein
— How suspected Russian hackers outed their massive cyberattack, by POLITICO’s Natasha Bertrand and Andrew Desiderio
— Evergreen squabble continues at Wisconsin Capitol, by the AP’s Scott Bauer
— Senate confirms Barrett replacement on federal appeals court, by the AP’s Matthew Daly
Obama’s ‘Promised Land,’ out just a month, on track to outsell Clinton, Bush books: “Crown announced Wednesday that sales have topped 3.3 million copies in the U.S. and Canada, within range of Bill Clinton’s ‘My Life’ and George W. Bush’s ‘Decision Points,’ both of which have sold between 3.5 million and 4 million. ‘Personal Memoirs of Ulysses Grant’ sold hundreds of thousands of copies when published in the 1880s, and remains in print, but there are no precise records of its total sales,” by the AP.
Today at 6:30 p.m.: Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Comptroller Susana Mendoza, Republican state Rep. Tom Demmer, and Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit are among guests participating in the Sun-Times’ “At the Virtual Table” with Laura Washington and Lynn Sweet. Up for discussion: transition in D.C., speakership in Springfield.
John Horstman has been promoted by President Donald Trump to deputy director of Communications at the White House. The Arlington Park native previously was special assistant to the president and White House director of Media Affairs, overseeing regional media for the entire country.
WEDNESDAY’s GUESS: Congrats to state Sen. Pat McGuire for correctly answering that Miriam Balanoff was the Illinois state rep who became the first lawmaker in the nation to propose legislation to help protect workers who were victims of plant closings. Interesting side note, she’s labor leader Clem Balanoff’s late mom.
TODAY’S QUESTION: Who is Oil Can Eddie and how is he connected to the current Chicago City Council? Email your answer to [email protected].
State Sen. Julie Morrison, state Rep. Kelly Burke, former Rep. Dan Burke, Dow Jones reporter Bob Tita, and McCormick Foundation board member Don Wycliff.
via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq
December 17, 2020 at 07:26AM