Good Monday morning, Illinois. We’re here for the week, even if it feels like everyone’s out lounging.
The cargo ship blocking the Suez Canal is creating supply chain issues that could reverberate all the way to Illinois. Everything from toilet paper and coffee to auto parts could be delayed if the logjam isn’t cleared up.
The freighter Empire State Building-size freighter is partially floating today but still stuck, according to The Associated Press. Meanwhile hundreds of ships behind it are gauging whether to wait for the canal to open up or take a longer route around the tip of South Africa to deliver their shipments.
“It will have an enormous impact” in the heartland, where there’s more industrial manufacturing, said Rosemary Coates, president of Blue Silk Consulting and an expert in global trade issues. “It’s a black swan event like the pandemic. You don’t expect it. You haven’t planned for it. Companies haven’t mitigated any risks. They have to wait for goods to get them by alternate shipping routes.”
The Suez Canal involves traffic from Asia and the Middle East to Europe, though some ships make their way to the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and other U.S. ports.
The log jam could also cause a scarcity of shipping containers, says Mark Denzler of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “A third of all containers come through Los Angeles and Long Beach. So, you could see shipping costs go up if you have to move [products] by air or the ships are diverted around the Cape of Good Hope,” he said. The lack of shipping containers could also impact the inland ports in Joliet and Decatur.
Erin Aleman, who heads Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, calls the shipping backlog “pretty unprecedented” and hopes it will lead to infrastructure changes.
She points to the lessons learned from the 1999 “snowmageddon” in Chicago that caused major rail disruptions. It led to a consortium of freight and rail groups to create an integrated system that would prevent such a back-up from happening again.
Right now, we’re hoping there’s not a repeat of last year’s run on TP and other products when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Preliminary Census numbers from the American Community Survey (ACS) show Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood has seen population plummet, while the city’s North Side continues to grow. Check out the map
The ACS numbers are from 2018 and could be helpful to aldermen redrawing ward maps, though it’s the 2020 Census numbers that will count. Census figures will include all the extra work to get Black and Brown communities on record, which could show Englewood having more numbers than the ACS indicates.
For now, ACS numbers show Ald. Jeanette Taylor’s 20th Ward with about 7,000 fewer residents,, from 52,403 to 45,494, since 2010. That’s a 13 percent drop in population.
“Englewood is where the depopulation is most steep,” said Frank Calabrese, a political consultant and mapmaker.
Similar declines occurred in Ald. Stephanie Coleman’s 16th Ward and Ald. Ray Lopez’s 15th Ward, also in the Englewood area, according to the ACS 2018 survey.
The biggest increase appears to be in Ald. Brendan Reilly’s 42nd Ward, which includes the River North neighborhood. It saw a 26 percent increase, from 55,878 residents to 70,516, according to the ACS comparison.
Wards that include the South Loop also showed a bump. Ald. Sophia King’s 4th Ward saw its population go from 52,872 in 2010 to 60,007 in 2018. And Ald. Pat Dowell’s 3rd Ward rose from 52,496 to 57,697 during the same period.
The West Side, meanwhile, shifted only slightly, according to ACS numbers. This area, however, is also likely to show greater shifts when the final Census numbers are released later this year. Ald. Alderman George Cardenas’s 12th Ward saw a 1.4 percent decline according to ACS numbers.
The ACS data is a starting off point for state lawmakers redrawing legislative and congressional maps and for aldermen who will remap their wards.
CHANGE Illinois, which advocates for a more transparent remap process, has been taking applications for an independent Ward Redistricting Commission that will hold public hearings to offer remap recommendations.
There have been 200 applicants “from all parts of the city,” said political consultant Dick Simpson, who’s advising the group.
Overall, the city saw an increase in population, from 2,691,700 to 2,718,078. “In theory if the city could stop its depopulation on the South Side and continue growth on the North Side, the population would skyrocket. But we’re in a lull right now,” said Calabrese.
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At IUOE Local 399 at 12:45 p.m. to launch Phase 1C of Covid-19 vaccine eligibility.
At Lorenzo Smith School in Pembroke Township at 12:30 p.m. to discuss economic equity legislation with members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.
At the Cook County Building at 12:30 p.m. to endorse the Clean Energy Jobs Act bill, along with state legislators and advocates.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Sunday reported 23 additional deaths and 2,250 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from March 21-27 is 3.2 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 3.8 percent.
— A third surge in Illinois? It’s a race between vaccinations and variants: “More contagious variants of the virus are on the rise, even as a pandemic-weary public starts to balk at mask rules and limits on gatherings. So, although case counts remain relatively low, public health officials and researchers aren’t ruling out a third surge,” reports the Tribune’s Joe Mahr.
— Biden administration remakes vaccine strategy after mass vaccination sites fizzle: “The federal government has found that Americans prefer vaccination at pharmacies over expensive mega-sites,” by POLITICO’s Erin Banco.
— Could Illinois become a leader in the vaccine passport gold rush? “Gov. Pritzker supports the kind of vaccine passports U of I’s for-profit company Shield T3 is poised to eventually add to its Covid-19 app,” by the Patch’s Mark Konkol.
— Column: Office sings its siren song as Covid ebb: “With a third of the country receiving at least the first dose of vaccine, workers are wondering when — or if— they’ll return to the office,” writes the Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg.
— SCOOP: DUCKWORTH reflects on Capitol attack and possible run for president: Sen. Tammy Duckworth tells USA Today she was disappointed not to be named VP and that she isn’t ruling out a presidential bid of her own “down the road.”
…Duckworth’s memoir ‘Every Day is a Gift’ charts the incredible path of a ‘poor mixed race girl’: “While much is known about the basic biography of Duckworth, a Democrat — the Illinois Army National Guard officer lost both legs and shattered her right arm when her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Iraq on Nov. 12, 2004 — her backstories of her relentless drive to rise above adversity are useful to know when we think we are having a bad day. Duckworth’s story is about her personal journey and is not a political tome,” writes the Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.
— DIVERSITY REPORT: Black and Latino directors largely missing from Illinois corporate boards, first-of-its-kind diversity report finds: “The analysis of 74 publicly traded companies found that 35 percent had two or more people of color on their boards, and 67 percent of them had two or more female directors. The boards ranged in size from four directors to 23,” by the Tribune’s Abdel Jimenez.
— Endangered rusty patched bumblebee is at the center of a legal challenge over habitat: “A federal lawsuit challenging a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to not designate critical habitat for the bee was filed last week by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of Minnesota Scientific and Natural Areas. It’s the latest in a series of legal challenges in the lead-up to and aftermath of the bee’s listing under the Endangered Species Act,” by the Tribune’s Morgan Greene.
— Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder asked city planning and economic development director Val Yazell to resign, reports the State Journal-Register’s Natalie Pierre.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Labor unions are proposing their own clean-energy legislation today. The Climate Union Jobs Act calls for, among other things, clean-energy jobs to be union jobs. It’s being carried by Democratic Reps. Lawrence Walsh Jr., Marcus C. Evans and Jay Hoffman and Sens. Michael Hastings, a Democrat, and Sue Rezin, a Republican.
It’s the latest in a series of bills focused on creating more renewable energy and figuring out the best way to fund nuclear power plants in Illinois. Two other high-profile bills already being discussed are the Path to 100 Act and Clean Energy Jobs Act. Ultimately, all the bills will be written into one piece of legislation before the General Assembly wraps up at the end of May. The question is who will write the legislation and how will it resolve the nuclear power plant issue.
— Illinois moves to create special charter for digital assets trust: “Illinois may soon become the second state in the nation — and the biggest — to create a new banking charter that lets special trusts hold digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.
The Illinois House committee on Financial Institutions on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill to create the new charter for "special purpose trust" companies, potentially putting the bill on a fast-track to become law by May, says its sponsor, Illinois Rep. Margaret Croke,” by the Dive’s Lynne Marek.
— Should gun owners help schools fund trauma response? Bill would add 1% tax to ammo sales: Co-sponsor of House Bill 238 is freshman state Rep. Maura Hirschauer, a Democrat from Batavia. “A former teacher and member of the gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action, Hirschauer said seeing two more mass shootings in recent days—March 16 near Atlanta and Monday in Boulder, Colo.—further illustrates that gun violence is a public health crisis,” report the Daily Herald’s Charles Keeshan and Susan Sarkauskas.
ISU President: Universities want IDPH to require vaccination for fall attendance: ISU is planning for a return to a traditional campus experience next year with students taking face-to-face classes, living in on-campus housing, and participating in in-person events and activities. All adults in Illinois will be eligible for the vaccine as of April 12, though some counties are offering earlier access,” by NPR’s Ryan Denham.
— Chicago Covid-19 vaccine eligibility: Phase 1C to begin today: “The expansion, which is on schedule, according to Chicago’s top doctor, will allow for workers in a variety of fields to be vaccinated including restaurant employees, hotel workers, hairdressers, clergy members, construction workers, delivery drivers and warehouse workers, among others,” via NBC/5.
— Lightfoot earned more than $350K from law firm during first year in office, tax return shows: “Lightfoot officials said, ‘The reason there was income reported from Mayer Brown in 2019 is that there were still cash collections allocated to Mayor Lightfoot related to work in process when she was a partner at Mayer Brown,’” the Tribune’s Gregory Pratt reports.
— Hundreds grieve, honor Atlanta shooting victims and rally against anti-Asian violence: Josina Morita, commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, encouraged people to support two state House bills currently on the table. “One would extend hate crime protections based on immigration and citizenship status. Another, called the TEAACH Act, would require Asian American history to be taught in all Illinois high schools,” WBEZ’s Katherine Nagasawa and Linda Lutton report.
— Defending Loretto: Congressman Danny Davis and state Sen. Mattie Hunter expressed support for Loretto Hospital’s efforts to correct problems that have occurred in distributing the Covid-19 vaccine. They also disputed a Crain’s report that state Rep. Camille Lilly, who also works at the hospital, created lists of individuals to be vaccinated “outside the normal protocols” of obtaining shots.
"No such list exists. Period," said Becky Carroll, who is serving as a spokeswoman for the hospital. "Rep. Lilly, like other community partners, curated names of frontline workers and residents from Austin and the greater West Side to get them signed up and into the registration system to be vaccinated."
Davis said Lilly is a lawmaker with “integrity” and should be believed. Hunter also dismissed the report, saying hospitals across Illinois have faced similar issues in trying to make sure vaccines are all used. She said three hospitals have approached her to get names of individuals from her community to get the vaccine.
— Priest deemed to have molested kids at NW Side parish isn’t listed as a predator priests: “It’s because the Passionists order has ignored Cardinal Blase Cupich’s calls for Catholic religious orders to create such lists. And Cupich’s list omits order priests,” reports the Sun-Times’ Robert Herguth.
Reopening schools now a campaign issue in suburban school board races for April 6: “Pre-pandemic, suburban school board contests were often no-drama affairs, in some cases, failing to attract enough candidates to fill open seats. But this election arrives in the wake of a tumultuous 2020 campaign season that was punctuated by parents protesting for reopened schools, marathon school board meetings and even lawsuits, including one filed this month against school board members in Naperville- and Aurora-based Indian Prairie School District 204 by a group of parents who allege a coordinated ‘cover-up of Covid-19 planning,’” by the Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta and Rafael Guerrero.
— Foxx says new study backs her stance that too many misdemeanor cases are brought to court: “Researchers studied nonviolent misdemeanors in Boston and its suburbs and concluded that not prosecuting those types of cases boosted the odds of a person not returning to court with a new criminal offense. Cook County’s court system handles more than 220,000 misdemeanors a year,” by the Sun-Times’ Frank Main.
— Mystery surrounds death of MIT grad whose Streeterville apartment contained explosive chemicals: “Theodore Hilk, 30, was found dead Wednesday after his father drove from Kansas to check on his well-being, said Chicago police officials, who are continuing to investigate,” by the Sun-Times’ Frank Main.
Swiss billionaire joins the bidding for Tribune Publishing: “The philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss has teamed with the Maryland hotel executive Stewart Bainum in a bid to upend Alden Global Capital’s plan to acquire the newspaper chain,” reports The New York Times.
— Ken Griffin’s Covid year had planes, Palm Beach, philanthropy: “In the early days of the pandemic, Ken Griffin talked with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about stimulus and fast-tracking Covid therapies. Now, he sees an opening to work with the Biden administration to address a year of lost learning.
"‘The political party doesn’t matter to me,’ said Griffin, 52, who contributed $66 million to Republicans in the last election. ‘What matters is the receptivity to solving the problem.’ The past 15 months have been busy for the billionaire founder of hedge fund Citadel and market-maker Citadel Securities, as both parts of his business successfully navigated the pandemic-fueled volatility,” via Bloomberg.
— Carolyn Grisko stepping back: The public relations and political adviser is retiring and closing her public affairs shop after 25 years. In a statement to Playbook, Grisko said the pandemic led to “self-reflection and life changes” that accelerated her move off the political treadmill.
Grisko represented Lightfoot and before that worked for former Mayor Richard M. Daley. Her agency, Grisko LLC, often worked on public projects, including generating support for the O’Hare expansion project, making Illinois smoke free and doing communications for the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force.
Grisko isn’t leaving the public sector outright. She’ll be providing pro-bono consulting to nonprofits.
Under new party chair, Illinois Republicans seek to unite, regroup and rebuild: “A minority party always has more of a challenge in that regard, and we certainly have that challenge in Illinois. We have a lot of momentum coming out of the fall, but if we don’t unify as a party, almost nothing we do next year will matter,” Don Tracy tells Derrick Blakley of the Center for Illinois Politics.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Some members of Illinois’ congressional delegation are urging Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to make sure townships and other non-entitlement governments receive funding from the American Rescue Plan.
In a letter to Yellen, who will decide the issue, Illinois Democrats say the current law does not make clear whether state-established townships would qualify for pandemic-related state and local assistance. “Without assistance, many township governments face the same budget shortfalls of city and county governments and may have to freeze or cut services,” according to a statement from Rep. Cheri Bustos’ office.
Also signing the letter to Yellen are Reps. Bobby Rush, Robin Kelly, Chuy Garcia, Sean Casten, Danny Davis, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Jan Schakowsky, Brad Schneider, Bill Foster, and Lauren Underwood, and Sen. Dick Durbin.
— Durbin urges Springfield to vote, is ‘disappointed’ with new Georgia voting law: “He suggested that legislation may need to again be passed at a federal level to ensure everyone has an opportunity to vote,” by the State Journal-Register’s Natalie Pierre.
— Buttigieg tasked with turning "infrastructure week" from a punchline into a reality, by POLITICO’s Christopher Cadelago, Sam Mintz and Tanya Snyder
— Biden mulls giving farmers billions to fight climate change. Even farmers are unsure about the plan, by POLITICO’s Zack Colman, Liz Crampton and Helena Bottemiller Evich
— Stephen Miller to launch a new legal group and has asked Todd Rickets to help fund it, by POLITICO’s Gabby Orr
— Cancel proof? Activists trying to get Nick Fuentes, a far-right video streamer from the western suburbs, off the internet, by the Tribune’s John Keilman.
— Matt McGrath has been named VP for Crisis and Risk at Edelman. He previously was deputy commissioner for the Chicago Department of Aviation and before that was spokesman for then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel. McGrath also was campaign manager for Duckworth’s 2016 campaign.
— Brendan O’Sullivan has started as the director of Government Relations for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. He had been VP of SP Media Group, a Chicago political consulting firm. O’Sullivan also served as campaign manager for Gery Chico, Chris Kennedy, Mary Jane Theis and as the political director of the Illinois Senate campaign committee for former Senate President John Cullerton.
Rep. Tom Demmer and RN Becca Demmer welcomed son, John. The family, including 4-year-old Katie, is happy and healthy, Demmer says. Pic!
FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Stephen J. Rosenblat and Brent Pruim, both lawyers, for correctly answering that Jackson Park Golf Course was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York’s Central Park. HT to Edwin Reyes, who noted that Calvert Vaux was a co-designer of Jackson Park.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Which four current members of the 102nd General Assembly call Loyola University Chicago their undergraduate alma mater? Email to [email protected].
Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st), former White House press secretary now Bully Pulpit Interactive Senior Counsel Robert Gibbs, Endeavor Co-CEO Ari Emanuel, CTA Comms Director Tammy Williamson Chase, University of Chicago economist Roger Myerson, CNN correspondent Casey Wian, former POLITICO columnist Roger Simon, and Angel A. Alicea, former Regional Organizing director for South Carolina Democratic Party….And belated greetings to Rep. Fran Hurley, who celebrated Saturday.
March 29, 2021 at 07:35AM