Happy Wednesday, Illinois, and Don Voyage. By the time you read this, President Donald Trump and the first lady will have departed the White House for Palm Beach, Fla.

President-elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office today and delivers a speech from a Capitol fortressed in wake of a deadly insurrection and at a time when 400,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus. The economy is suffering, jobs are gone, businesses have closed and the pandemic has created greater education inequalities.

“The words he speaks will be very important in terms of giving people confidence and a sense of hope,” well-known political strategist and CNN analyst David Axelrod told Playbook as we checked in with a range of Illinois characters who have attended previous inaugurations.

Axelrod attended his first in 1965 for President Lyndon Johnson, and he of course was on hand for President Barack Obama’s swearings-in. In 2009, Obama took office amid a global financial crisis. His words mattered, said Axelrod, who heads University of Chicago Institute of Politics. “In times of crisis, the speech is especially important.”

Jeff Greenfield writes in POLITICO magazine that Biden’s speech will be the hardest inauguration address in generations. “There have been bleaker and more uncertain moments in American history,” he writes. “Still, what Biden must address is something uniquely daunting.”

Inaugurations are also about pageantry and solemnity of the transfer of power. “You work for something so hard for the campaign and there’s a realization that what you worked for is transitioning into governing. The celebration brings it to reality,” said Bruce Heyman, the former U.S. ambassador to Canada during the Obama administration. He recalled attending his first inauguration in 1972, for Richard Nixon, and getting caught up in a parade that was interrupted by anti-war protesters. Decades later, Heyman and his wife, Vicki, attended both Obama inaugurations and watched the parade from a Capitol Hill high-rise.

Former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun remembers “a sense of gaiety” at President Bill Clinton’s inaugurations. “People were happy. They are today, too, but now it’s in a more somber way.”

Anne Caprara, chief of staff to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, worked for Colorado Rep. Betsy Markey in 2009 and was responsible for handing out the office’s inauguration tickets. When one ticket wasn’t picked up for a section offering a closer view of events, Caprara resolved “to give it to the happiest person I saw that day.” It turned out to be “an older woman — clearly the grandma of her family group which was large and multigenerational — dancing in the middle of the street,” Caprara said. “I ran up, handed her the ticket and said ‘I have this but I think it belongs to you.’ She cried. I cried. We hugged. We talked about how happy we were… I think about that moment all the time when I need to remember that every once in a while, politics can be pure joy.”

That’s a bipartisan feeling of joy. “It’s cold and you stand around for a long time, but you’re standing among people who share your perspective on what government should be doing,” said Illinois Republican National Committeeman Richard Porter, who attended Trump’s inauguration.

Recollections about inaugurations wouldn’t be complete without recalling frigid temps of Jan. 20ths gone by.

Former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett told Playbook: “I gasped and held my daughter Laura’s hand tightly” when confronted with the cold. The two sat “close enough to see Barack and Michelle’s expressions as she held the Lincoln Bible.” Jarrett said her thoughts that day went to her parents, “who for so long feared this journey was impossible. Our country had turned an important page,” she said of electing the first African American president.

Today, new memories will be built as the first African American and first South Asian and first woman takes the oath as vice president — it’s just most of us will be watching from the warmth of our homes.


Writing a speech for Biden can be hell. And that was before the inaugural, writes POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki

— Anyone surprised? Trump revokes rule preventing White House staff from lobbying, by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw

South Side native-turned-general commands 25,000 troops providing security for Biden inauguration, by Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair

34 Chicago police officers to help keep D.C. safe on unprecedented Inauguration Day, by Tribune’s Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas

City Hall, Cook County building closed today as ‘precautionary step’ for inauguration, by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt

— Washington Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory offered the invocation at a pre-inauguration memorial service Tuesday to remember the nearly 400,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19. Gregory is a Chicago native who previously served as bishop in Belleville, Ill.

— Watch for Chicago’s South Shore Drill Team to perform in the Parade of America, a virtual event starting at 2 p.m. Chicago time and featuring performers from across the country.

Democratic Sen. Heather Steans, a 12-year veteran of the Illinois General Assembly and master budgeteer, is stepping down later this month, setting off a new set of legislative dominoes.

House Rep. Kelly Cassidy, who worked with Steans on Illinois’ landmark cannabis legislation, has already acknowledged she’s interested in the Senate seat. “I intend to seek the appointment,” she told Playbook. House Majority Leader Greg Harris also sits in Steans Northside District told Playbook he’s not interested in running.

Steans told the Tribune she has no immediate career plans and will spend more time with her family, including helping care for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

“I really care deeply about the city and the state, so I’m sure I’ll stay involved,” Steans said. As senator, she introduced and helped pass legislation legalizing same-sex marriage and was an advocate for abortion access.

A legislative source tells Playbook that Steans could follow former Sen. Andy Manar to work in Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration. The source says Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford might want to jump ship, too.

Steans’ exit is a loss to the state Senate in terms of institutional knowledge, especially with Manar gone, too. They were experts in handling budget issues.

But their exit should not come as a complete surprise. They both backed Lightford in last year’s Senate president race against Sen. Don Harmon, who won. And though there were no apparent hard feelings, Harmon operates the Senate differently than his predecessor, former Sen. John Cullerton.

Steans used to be the appropriations chair and was the go-to budget person for Cullerton. Lawmakers needed to go through her for any budget approval.

That changed when Harmon ran for Senate president vowing to diversify the appropriations process. He’s divided it into 12 subcommittees, much like Congress — an experiment to get more people involved in the budget process and so there’s no one person in charge. Steans moved to the Revenue Committee.

That may have been disappointing to Steans or maybe just a signal that it was time for a change. “It’s time for fresh faces and new energy” in Springfield, she said, announcing her exit.

Steans’ resignation takes effect Jan. 31. A successor will be appointed by the Cook County Democratic Party that heads her district. In a total Chicago way, Cassidy has the third largest weighted vote total on the selection committee.

Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]

No official public events.

No official public events.

No official public events.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday reported 33 additional deaths and 4,318 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus. That’s a total of 18,291 fatalities and 1,076,532 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Jan. 12 through 18 is 5.7 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 7.7 percent.

U.S. coronavirus death toll passes 400,000 as Biden prepares to take office, by POLITICO’s Maura Turcotte

More Illinois districts are reopening school buildings, prompting union to track Covid-19 cases: “New numbers show that 1.17 million Illinois school children have the option of blended learning or a full-time return to school buildings, compared to 800,000 attending school fully remote, according to the state school board’s Covid-19 database, last updated Tuesday. That shift in the numbers, and rising concern among teachers as districts reopen buildings, has prompted the Illinois Federation of Teachers to build its own case tracker and to renew its call for a state positivity threshold that would help determine the timing of reopening,” reports Chalkbeat Chicago’s Samantha Smylie.

Chicago aims to start vaccinating the general public against Covid-19 by June: “Chicago’s Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the city estimates it will take at least February and March to get through that next priority group, often referred to as 1b,” reports WBEZ’s Becky Vevea.

How promotoras de salud are fighting vaccine conspiracies in Chicago’s Latino communities: “Matina Sanchez is one of seven promotoras de salud — community health workers — from Centro San Bonifacio working to distribute information about the virus. These workers received training from state public health officials, and they’re now spreading that information using this peer-to-peer model,” by WBEZ’s María Inés Zamudio.

— Sun-Times photos: Chicago joins national Covid memorial.

TRUMP PARDONS CASEY URLACHER, suburban mayor and brother of Bears Hall of Famer: “Casey Urlacher, 41, faced federal charges alleging he acted as a recruiter and bagman for a sports gambling ring that raked in millions of dollars from hundreds of Chicago-area bettors. Urlacher, who is the mayor of the tiny Lake County suburb of Mettawa, pleaded not guilty to the charges last March,” reports Tribune’s Bill Ruhhart.

Suburban man serving life in marijuana conspiracy has sentenced commuted by Trump:Craig Cesal said one of the biggest advocates for his release was Alice Johnson, who got a full pardon from Trump last year. She was sentenced to life in prison for her involvement in a Memphis cocaine-trafficking ring,” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main.

Complete list from the White House: Trump granted pardons to 73 individuals and commuted the sentences of an additional 70 individuals.

‘Like a Ghost’ in the White House: The last days of the Trump presidency: “In the aftermath of the Capitol riot, Trump’s White House became an insular refuge for a self-absorbed leader detached from the people who had rejected him,” by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar, Gabby Orr and Meridith McGraw.

A big chunk of Trump’s 1776 report appears lifted from an author’s prior work: “The report was meant to be the definitive conservative rendering of U.S. history. But historians have slammed it as sloppy and slanted,” by POLITICO’s Tina Nguyen.

— ‘Are you QAnon?’: One Trump official’s brush with an internet cult gone horribly wrong: “Some believed he was ‘Q,’ the mythical figure behind an intricate and sprawling conspiracy theory. Here Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a senior Trump intelligence official, shares the story of his ordeal for the first time,” by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein.

INDOOR DINING could resume within days: “Chicago will join the rest of Illinois in advancing to the next phase of the state’s Covid-19 vaccination program on Monday, opening up inoculations for residents age 65 or older and front-line essential workers, including teachers, the city said Tuesday. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, meanwhile, said she hopes indoor dining ‘soon’ will be allowed at restaurants across Chicago after Gov. J.B. Pritzker eased other Covid-19 restrictions on the city,” by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt, Alice Yin, and Jamie Munks.

Resentment grows as some restaurants play by the rules, and others don’t: “The resentment is twofold: Restaurants that skirt or openly flout Illinois state rules — and the number doing so is significant, restaurateurs claim — are taking away business from compliant operations. Inconsistent or absent enforcement is enabling violators,” writes the Tribune’s Phil Vettel.

Field Museum to reopen this week, offer two free days next week:The comeback begins with members-only days on Thursday and Friday, and the general public will be admitted starting Saturday,” by Sun-Times’ Darel Jevens.

Chicago Teachers Union might take strike vote this week, sources say: “The union is expected to convene its 700-member House of Delegates on Wednesday to discuss a work stoppage or other collective action,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa and Fran Spielman.

Aldermen advance measure to expand protections for immigrants: “The measure would prohibit Chicago police officers from helping Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents if they ask for information about individuals listed as a gang member in city databases, have been charged or convicted of a felony, or are wanted on a warrant issued by a judge,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.

Rush, Lightfoot satisfied with suspensions for cops accused of lounging during looting: “The mayor and Rush spoke at the opening of the Chatham Education and Workforce Center. The effort to build the facility grew out of community outrage over the death of teacher Betty Howard, killed by a stray bullet in 2014,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Morton Salt project heads toward zoning approval: “The proposal for the old industrial site calls for space for live music, entertainment and offices while preserving the iconic sign,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.

Legacy of Muddy Waters to live on at MOJO Museum: “After years of uncertainty, transforming the home with the pink flamingos on 43rd Street and Lake Park Avenue has finally become a reality for the family of Muddy Waters,” reports WTTW’s Angel Idowu. The plan includes a recording studio and education programs.

— ICYMI: Researchers say it’s time to honor the legacy of Ada S. McKinley: They says McKinley’s legacy has received less than equal recognition compared to white social reformers, like Jane Addams, who founded Hull House.

108 years after racially motivated trial, court docket for Black heavyweight champ Jack Johnson goes public: “[A]n all-white jury in Chicago convicted Black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson of federal charges of transporting a white woman across state lines, a case that would later be held up as a deplorable example of institutional racism in early 20th century America. Johnson was posthumously pardoned by President Donald Trump in 2018. But it wasn’t until Friday that the paperwork — along with images of some of the handwritten documents from Johnson’s trial —- were officially entered into the court’s electronic court docketing system, marking a final chapter in a sensational saga that garnered international headlines 109 years ago,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner.

Chicago police supervisor sues city, alleging special unit improperly driven by traffic stops and arrests: “The lawsuit, filed Friday by Lt. Franklin Paz in Cook County Circuit Court under the state’s Whistleblower Act, focuses on his role with police Superintendent David Brown’s new Community Safety Team, which was formed last summer in response to a rise in violence and other crime throughout the city,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Annie Sweeney.

Man charged with fatal Aurora shooting held on $1 million bond: “Kane County prosecutors say Ivan Valles drove to Fernando Carapia’s home in the 300 block of South Spencer Street, where someone jumped out of the vehicle and shot him to death,” by Sun-Times.

$11B in damage from last summer’s derecho: “The summer derecho that rattled windows and ripped down trees across Illinois and the Midwest caused an estimated $11 billion in damage, becoming the costliest storm event to occur in less than 24 hours in at least four decades. That’s according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which this month released its annual report detailing the billion-dollar-plus weather and climate disasters to strike the United States. A record-breaking 22 disasters caused $95 billion in damage in 2020,” reports Tribune’s Morgan Greene.

How Chris Welch became speaker: “Women kicked in the door, the Black Caucus walked through it,” writes Derrick Blakley for the Center for Illinois Politics.

… Interesting insight: Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside), a Madigan supporter, didn’t see the end coming for Madigan. “He woke up Monday morning and came to the personal conclusion that while he probably could go out and get one or two more votes, he didn’t think he could get nine,” said Rep. Zalewski. “And as the day progressed it was clear there wasn’t going to be this moment where he was going to be able to recapture enough votes to win.”

IHSA approves plan for winter sports to begin, allows contact days for fall, spring and summer sports: “By an email vote, the Illinois High School Association board approved a plan Tuesday that allows winter sports, with the exception of boys and girls basketball, to be played seven practice days after the first practice,” reports the Tribune.

THE FIFTY: Biden’s Covid fight meets a big test: red-state politics, by POLITICO’s Joanne Kenen and Rachel Roubein.

Price tag going up for U. of I. tuition: “The University of Illinois will become more expensive for some in-state students next fall if the board of trustees agrees to raise fees for housing and campus services. Despite concerns about the ballooning cost of college, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, university officials are expected to propose the increases at a Wednesday meeting of the board’s academic and student affairs committee,” by Chicago Tribune’s Elyssa Cherney.

The Black Bench, a new non-profit launched on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, is designed to train up-and-coming Black political leaders. The program is being funded by Black business leaders in Chicago, including Ariel Investments’ John Roger Jr., Loop Capital’s Jim Reynolds, Kimbark Beverage Shoppe’s Jonathan Swain, CS Insurance Strategies’ Charles Smith, and PR pro Alex Sims. “There are a lot of gaps that need to be filled with leadership, but we don’t always have the skill set needed,” Sims told the Sun-Times. The goal is to share information with the leaders coming up the ranks.

Journalist and author Deborah Douglas talks about her book, “U.S. Civil Rights Trail, a Traveler’s Guide to the People, Places, and Events that Made the Movement,” which documents the Civil Rights Trail across the southern United States, from the Mississippi Delta to Washington, D.C. She’s featured on The Broad Cast podcast, which is hosted by C-Strategies CEO Becky Carroll.

Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Brad Schneider, both Democrats, were among lawmakers reintroducing the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act on Tuesday. The measure, authored by Durbin, passed the House last year but stalled in the Senate. Durbin says the recent attack on the Capitol, prompted the need to bring the bill back to address domestic terrorism. “We can no longer take it for granted that we’re safe in the United States and just have to watch the incoming people,” he said in the presser. “There are dangers within. Let’s take them seriously and pass this legislation as quickly as possible.”

Congresswoman Robin Kelly, who’s in Washington this week, hosted a virtual Inauguration Celebration with Congresswoman Lucy McBath of Georgia. The two discussed their experiences during the Capitol riot and shared their excitement for the new administration.

… Seen toasting the incoming Biden Harris administration via Zoom were Ariel Investments John Rogers Jr., Rich Township Supervisor and 2nd District State Central Committeeman Al Riley, attorney Aurora Austriaco, Accenture’s Melvin Flowers, J. Street’s Becky Galler, Project& President Jane M. Saks, Mesirow Financial’s Leo Harmon, Chicago Association of Realtors’ Michelle Mills Clement, Dr. Susan Rodgers, Dr. Ramsey Ellis, Matteson School District 162 Superintendent Blondean Davis, and Community Consolidated 168 Superintendent Donna Leak.

The hard part for Kamala Harris will come after she makes history: “When you are the first, the blows are sharper,” said Kim Foxx, the Cook County State’s Attorney, who considers Harris a role model and mentor. By POLITICO’s Eugene Daniels and Christopher Cadelago.

Biden staffers fear the unknown as they take over government from Trump, by POLITICO’s Tyler Pager, Alice Miranda Ollstein, Caitlin Emma and Eric Geller

Biden ready to release immigration bill after inauguration, by POLITICO’s Sabrina Rodriguez

— Poll: Republican support for convicting Trump in Senate growing, by POLITICO’s Ben Leonard

Evanston woman killed in shooting spree ‘dedicated her life to teaching’: “Marta Torres, 61, ‘cherished her family and was a true friend to everyone she met, from all walks of life,’ her family said,” by Sun-Times’ Emmanuel Camarillo.

TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Chicago City Council Legislative Reference Bureau Deputy Director Michael McClain for correctly answering that Gov. Joel A. Matteson was the first Illinois governor to live in the Illinois executive mansion in 1856.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who’s the former congressman and mayoral candidate who said the U.S. should annex Canada? Email to [email protected].

Ald. Maria Hadden, and Caryn Berman, senior executive assistant at Chico & Nunes.



via “Illinois Politics” – Google News https://ift.tt/2DKMb2N

January 20, 2021 at 08:14AM

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