POLICE CHIEF EMERGES — COOK COUNTY’s REMAP — PROBING DEADLY FIRES — A NOD TO TERM LIMITS

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POLICE CHIEF EMERGES — COOK COUNTY’s REMAP — PROBING DEADLY FIRES — A NOD TO TERM LIMITS

TGIF, Illinois. Apparently, bears could be on the loose in Illinois so social distancing is recommended.

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown is known as a 9-to-5 cop. He spends his time in the office and rarely gets out in the community to talk to neighborhood groups, let alone reporters. He leaves that to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, whose background working on police reform makes her a strong voice on issues related to crime.

So it was a surprise when Brown called a news conference Thursday to answer wide-ranging questions from reporters.

Brown isn’t like previous police superintendents who had a commanding presence in the community, often speaking at public events and holding (somewhat) regular gaggles with the press.

He said he doesn’t like “to chase the camera.” However his absence from the public view — including during the recent police killing of Adam Toledo — had raised concerns that he might not be long for the job.

Maybe that’s what prompted him to call Thursday’s last-minute press briefing. This week also marks his one-year anniversary in Chicago. So maybe he thought it was time.

What we heard was a superintendent who says he’s committed to the job but who is unable to explain why crime is up by 30 percent over the previous year — a frustrating trend in many of the nation’s cities. Instead there was a lot of finger-pointing at his predecessor, Interim Supt. Charlie Beck.

“The facts are, the old structure wasn’t working in the new landscape of global pandemic and a social justice movement around race. That’s the facts,” he said.

From the Sun-Times’ Frank Main: Brown says predecessor’s violence-reduction strategy didn’t work — but his does

From WBEZ’s Chip Mitchell and Patrick Smith : Brown’s first year as Chicago’s top cop pulled him in two directions

From Tribune’s Paige Fry: Brown: ‘If we’re going to change our culture, it’s going to be because the community demands it’

While Springfield haggles over how to redraw legislative and federal maps, Cook County is faced with similar problems in trying to reshape its 17 districts without having the most recent census figures on hand.

Preliminary numbers from the American Community Survey (ACS) show Commissioner Bridget Gainer’s 10th District on Chicago’s North Side has the largest population increase. That’s no surprise given the legislative districts in the same area have also seen population increases. The county district has 341,000 residents, up from 318,000 (7 percent), according to the 2019 ACS figures, the most easily available right now. Political consultant Frank Calabrese, who studies redistricting, has created a map showing the population ups and downs for the county.

Cook County Commissioner John Daley’s 11th District on the far Southwest Side also saw an uptick, from 313,000 to 321,000, or about 2.5 percent.

That’s a contrast from numbers in Commissioner Alma Anaya’s 7th District on the city’s Southwest Side. It’s population dropped 7 percent, from 290,000 in 2010 to 269,000 residents in 2019, according to the ACS data.

The 7th District is 80 percent Latino. Two other districts with high Latino populations — Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr.’s 8th District and Commissioner Frank Aguilar’s 16th District — have also seen declines. It mirrors a statewide trend, according to a recent study, that may be caused by Latino residents moving out of state for work or being fearful about taking part in census research.

Suburban districts, meanwhile, are seeing population stay steady.

The big question is whether the majority of Democrats on the Cook County Board will try to squeeze out Republican Commissioner Sean Morrison, whose 17th District in the south suburbs has seen a slight uptick in population.

Cook County lawmakers are up for election in 2022, so they’re on a time crunch the same way state lawmakers are. Unless the Legislature moves the deadline, they’ll have to come up with a map by August in order to get the petition process started, which is at the beginning of September.

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The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 33 additional deaths and 3,170 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 21,755 fatalities and 3,170 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from April 15-21 is 3.8 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 5.3 percent.

WHITE HOUSE WRITES OFF Johnson & Johnson vaccine after string of production failures: “The chaos has disappointed the Biden team, which once argued that the company’s one-dose vaccine would be central to turning the tide of the pandemic,” by POLITICO’s Erin Banco, Adam Cancryn and Sarah Owermohle.

Chicago nursing homes had 22 Covid-19 infections among the fully vaccinated, a rarity: “Though there were relatively few COVID-19 cases in fully vaccinated people, those cases highlight the importance of continuing to follow routine infection prevention measures and getting as many nursing home staff and residents vaccinated as possible, according to a report from the CDC.” Tribune’s Lisa Schencker reports.

All Chicago mass COVID-19 vaccination sites to open for walk-in appointments starting today: “The locations, which include the United Center site that is run in conjunction with the federal government, will open up access in order to accommodate residents who don’t want to or cannot schedule appointments ahead of time, Dr. Allison Arwady said during a Thursday question-and-answer session. The announcement comes after three Cook County mass vaccination sites in the south suburbs — Matteson, Summit and Tinley Park — also opened up to walk-ins this week,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin and Jenny Whidden.

— INVESTIGATION: THE FAILURES BEFORE THE FIRES: “The fire that killed four of Shamaya Coleman’s children raced through their South Side building within minutes. But it was a tragedy years in the making…. Coleman’s children are among at least 61 people — including 23 under the age of 17 — who died since 2014 in Chicago buildings where city officials knew of fire safety problems, sometimes for years, yet failed to crack down on property owners in time,” by Better Government Association’s Madison Hopkins and Tribune’s Cecilia Reyes.

Puppy mill loophole closed: Chicago pet stores banned from passing off purebred, designer dogs as rescues: “Under 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins’ revamped measure, stores will be permitted to sell only shelter dogs for a nominal fee. The price restrictions would make it harder for brokers and breeders to exploit the law and pass off commercially bred dogs as shelter animals, as some have done in recent years,” by Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair and Christy Gutowski.

Where things stand on getting a casino developer: “City leaders want a “world-class” resort that’ll draw locals and tourists while boosting Chicago’s finances, but several steps remain,” via WBEZ.

How Chicago’s music venues are safely reopening using a chorus of different approaches: Traveling performers, streaming-only sets, intimate in-person gatherings, specially crafted guest lists, and newly built outdoor venues may help bring back the music, writes Tribune’s Britt Julious.

After warning from cardinal, St. Sabina pastor says he’s encouraging ‘respectful’ support for Pfleger: “Cardinal Blase Cupich has lashed out at “intimidating tactics” by supporters of the Rev. Michael Pfleger,” by Sun-TImes’ Sam Kelly and Grace Asiegbu.

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Ryan Johnson has been named deputy director of communications for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office. Johnson comes to City Hall by way of BerlinRosen, where he was account director in the national issue advocacy practice. Before his work at BerlinRosen, he was press secretary for Sen. Cory Booker, where he managed national media outreach efforts and helped shape messaging around Booker’s national and state-based priorities. And before that, Johnson worked as comms director for Congressman Bobby Rush. In a statement, Lightfoot said: “Ryan’s years of communication expertise will play a critical role in our ability to connect with our residents and navigate our city through any storm.”

HOUSE PASSES TERM LIMITS for legislative leaders: “Under House bill 642, the minority leaders in the Illinois House and Senate, as well as the Senate President and Speaker of the House can only serve in their leadership role for 10 years. The bill was led by state Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights and co-sponsored by 62 representatives — a majority of the House. ‘This is a big moment for reform in the state of Illinois,’ DeLuca said. ‘It’s a significant structural reform.’ … When Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch was elected speaker in January, he committed to serving as speaker for no more than 10 years — a significant departure from his predecessor, Mike Madigan,” by State Journal-Register’s Ben Szalinski.

Supporters of union-backed energy bill that benefits ComEd question audit from Pritzker’s office: “During a Senate committee hearing Thursday, Democratic Sen. Michael Hastings of Frankfort and Republican Sen. Sue Rezin of Morris, both sponsors of the labor-backed energy bill, questioned the assumptions in the governor’s audit and the credibility of the outside experts hired to prepare it,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella.

Bill seeks to rein in rosey projections to get TIF subsidies: Under House Bill 0571, which is sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Carroll at the request of state Comptroller Susana Mendoza, TIF developers would have to begin reporting annually to Mendoza how well their projects are doing in terms of creating jobs and new property tax revenue, or increment. That way, voters would know whether a project in line for TIF subsidies is as productive as developers promised. Crain’s Greg Hinz reports.

Senate approves bill prohibiting vaping products marketed toward children: “Sen. Julie Morrison’s proposal makes it illegal to sell or distribute e-cigs and vaping products marketed for children. The measure could also prohibit vape shops from offering discounts or coupons on e-cigs,” by WGEM’s Mike Miletich.

Bill expands expungement eligibility, treatment programs for drug possession offenses: “The discussion over House Bill 3447 provoked strong emotions on both sides of the aisle, passing by a 61-49 vote, or just one more than was needed to pass. The bill — filed by Rep. Carol Ammons, an Urbana Democrat — would reclassify small amounts of drug possession from a low-level felony to a misdemeanor,” by Capitol News’ Sarah Mansur.

Bill allowing name changes for convicted individuals passes House:House Bill 2542, introduced by state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, amends several state statutes preventing Illinois residents from changing their names due to their presence on watch lists. HB 2542 passed through the new House Restorative Justice Committee last month, with an amendment approved by the same committee Wednesday,” by Capitol News’ Raymon Troncoso. — House OKs bill to license professional midwives, by Capitol News’ Sarah Mansur.

House passes bill to outlaw the release of 50 or more balloons, by WJBC’s Dave Dahl

ATTEMPTED EXTORTION of Illinois elections board exec involved ‘flirtatious’ messages, demand for $3,000, letter indicates: “Steven Sandvoss, who is on administrative leave until his resignation takes effect at the end of June, detailed his encounters in a letter to the State Board of Elections in which he said a threat was made to “ruin” him if he didn’t pay $3,000,” report Tribune’s

SUBURBAN SLOT MACHINE KINGPIN ‘vindicated,’ his lawyer says after settlement with state gambling regulators: “After a year and a half of scrutiny — and after a foiled attempt to open a new racetrack and casino in the southwest suburbs — Gold Rush Amusements founder Rick Heidner is ‘in good standing’ with the Illinois Gaming Board,” by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.

Evanston police officers accused of using excessive force in 2018 arrest, causing suspect to hit his head against a curb: “The city of Evanston denies the allegations and says the suspect was resisting arrest after a loaded gun was found in his car,” by Sun-Times’ Sophie Sherry.

Suburban ‘Mathletes’ Are Finalists In Elite International Competition: “Students at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in the north suburbs used their math skills to find solutions to the digital divide,” by WBEZ’s Linda Lutton.

Barrington toddler dies after he’s run over by truck in his driveway, via People

FOXX says she should have known what prosecutor would say in court about police shooting of Adam Toledo: “My name is on the door. … I don’t believe in pushing blame or the buck,” State’s Attorney Kim Foxx told the Sun-Times. “The public was relying on information that our office presented to the court and the media relied upon that wasn’t fully accurate. I own that.” Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman reports.

Little Village activists call for Foxx to arrest officer who shot Adam Toledo, by Sun-Times’ Mari Devereaux

Adam Toledo shooting reinforces CPS students’ views on school police, by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa

New Berlin man pleads not guilty to allegations he threatened Sen. Sims: “Michael L. Hoyle, 54, who is free after posting $15,000 bail the day after the alleged incident, entered the plea in front of Sangamon County Circuit Judge Ryan Cadagin. A trial was scheduled for July. Hoyle, the president and owner of Kwik-Wall Co. of Springfield, was arrested the night of the incident. County prosecutors haven’t provided a motive,” by Daily Herald’s Dean Olsen.

Stress-induced drug use during pandemic is reason to de-criminalize harder drugs, says Foxx: “Especially in this last year with Covid — overdose deaths were at a high. Those people weren’t criminals. They were people who were suffering,” she told the Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Grandmother provided crucial help in arrest for road rage shooting of toddler on Lake Shore Drive, police say: “We couldn’t have arrested him without her cooperation,” chief of detectives says. Sun-Times’ David Struett

Police shoot suspect in murder of 7-year-old after he tried to carjack family on Eisenhower expressway: “It started as a surveillance operation in a western suburb as police were following the suspect. After he fled, during an ‘escape’ he took off on the inbound Eisenhower and then crashed on the shoulder of the expressway as police tried to stop him, Police Superintendent David Brown said,” by Tribune’s Sarah Freishtat.

MAMA CAUCUS wants to make Illinois mom-friendly: Lawmakers from across the state — all moms from different political parties and positions — have formed the Illinois Mamas Caucus. “Their goal is to turn Illinois into the most mom-friendly state in the nation, through policies that support working families, protect female and maternal health, provide high-quality public education and make it easier for women to run for elected office,” writes Tribune’s Heidi Stevens.

KRISHNAMOORTHI has stockpiled an astounding $9M in campaign cash: “It’s an open secret why Krishnamoorthi is salting away election money; he wants to run for the Senate if an Illinois seat opens up,” writes Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.

Foxx disgusted by Burke’s anti-Semitic remark — but not enough to return $30K from fundraiser at his house: “I can be outraged by what I’ve seen and still do the work that the people elected me to do,” Foxx told the Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

DePaul University and Columbia College will require COVID-19 vaccines this fall for on-campus students: “Both Columbia and DePaul will host vaccine sites on campus in the coming days. The institutions join a small but growing list of schools, including the University of Notre Dame, making students get inoculated in order to live in dorms, attend in-person classes or spend time on campus,” reports Tribune’s Elyssa Cherney.

But most colleges, universities will encourage — not require — vaccines for fall semester, reports Daily Herald’s Madhu Krishnamurthy

Olive-Harvey College breaks ground on hemp greenhouse for cannabis education program: “The college’s urban agriculture program will use the 1,500-square-foot greenhouse to give students hands-on experience in the hemp-growing industry,” by Sun-Times’ Zinya Salfiti.

Durbin has Visa, Mastercard in his sights: “Regulatory, legislative and court confrontations over the card network companies’ fees are ratcheting up pressure again for reform of the behemoths’ practices,” by PaymentsDive Lynne Marek.

— PHOTO OP: Rep. Marie Newman will be a “server for an hour” at Chicago’s Nana Organic restaurant in the Bridgeport neighborhood “to draw attention to the struggles of restaurant employees earning the subminimum wage for tipped workers,” her team says in a statement.

The fate of Trumpism will be decided in this Ohio district, by POLITICO’s Michael Kruse

Biden wasn’t even sworn in when Republicans began plotting ways to use the border as a political attack, by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar

Clyburn defends Pelosi, Waters over Chauvin trial rhetoric, by POLITICO’s Quint Forgey

Biden’s climate plan faces global skepticism, by POLITICO’s Ryan Heath

— Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to noon: Chicago’s Orthodox Jewish community is organizing a vaccine site at Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov Elementary School, 3200 W Peterson Ave., on the city’s Northwest Side. This is a site open to all city residents. Vaccination code is here.

— Sunday at 11 a.m.: A remembrance on the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster will be held at Sam Leone Beach Park on Touhy Avenue. The event is organized in part by the Belarusians in Chicago nonprofit.

— This weekend: Photographer Joerg Metzner will be at the 10 Perspective Fine Art Photography gallery talking about his exhibit: “Missing: The Tree at Greenwood Beach.”

THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Ald. Jason Ervin, Wildfire Contact Managing Director Gillian Rosenberg Armour, and attorney Michael Ruemmler for being first to answer that the 2006 Iowa steak fry was the event that laid the groundwork for Barack Obama’s upset victory in the 2008 Iowa Caucus. Gillian correctly points out that though Obama’s 2004 speech at the Democratic Convention launched him into the national spotlight, it was the steak fry that showed he could do retail politics. Gillian should know — she attended both events.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who brought enslaved people to develop a mine near the area now known as Prairie du Rocher? Email to [email protected]. (HT Leo Driscoll for the question.)

Today: John Tillman, chairman of Illinois Policy Institute, and the great Shelly Zucker.

Saturday: former Mayor Richard M. Daley, state Rep. Justin Slaughter (27th), Cook County Circuit Court Judge Preston Jones Jr., former state Rep. Maria “Toni” Berrios, LaSalle Network CEO Tom Gimbel, Clayco Community Relations Director Roz Skozen, Medill Professor Emeritus Owen Youngman, Tribune editorial board member Lara Weber, journalist Janan Hanna, and Newberg Group’s Abby Walsh.

Sunday: First Assistant Deputy Governor Lizzy Whitehorn, Cook County Forests Preserves governmental affairs director Delio Calzolari, Blackthorne Capital Management CEO Peter Layton, Chicago criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor Larry Beaumont, Better Government Association reporter Alejandra Cancino, author and journalist Carol Felsenthal, comms strategist Melissa Musiker, and Politico Playbooker Bob Turnbull.

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via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq

April 23, 2021 at 07:31AM

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