BASEBALL CULTURE CLASH — COUNCIL FIGHT LOOMS — DROP THE MASK… MOSTLY

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BASEBALL CULTURE CLASH — COUNCIL FIGHT LOOMS — DROP THE MASK… MOSTLY

Good Tuesday morning, Illinois. How ironic that our headline a year ago today was “Covid Culture Clash!”

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Republican state legislators have written to Chicago Cubs and White Sox officials, calling on them to reconsider efforts to separate vaccinated fans from those who aren’t. They’re concerned that separate seating “could stigmatize unvaccinated Illinoisans.”

“We strongly feel that Covid vaccines are a personal medical choice and those that do not receive it should not be excluded or stigmatized… Vaccine passports or solicitation of proof of vaccination should not be a requirement for Illinoisans to enjoy America’s pastime,” according to letters sent to Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer and White Sox President for Baseball Operations Kenny Williams. (They’re the execs concerned about the game on the field, not the butts in seats, but we get the point.)

The letters were signed by GOP Reps. Andrew Chesney, Dan Caulkins, Brad Halbrook, Tony McCombie, Chris Miller, Adam Niemerg, Joe Sosnowski, and Blaine Wilhour.

Spokesmen for the teams say it’s an unnecessary dustup since the special sections end later this month when the capacity level of the stadiums go up from 25 percent to 60 percent, as dictated by the city and state.

The Sox aren’t in town until May 24, when they’ll play the Cardinals and “no fans will be separated by whether they are vaxed or not,” according to spokesman Scott Reifert.

This week, the Cubs have designated the Budweiser Bleachers for vaccinated fans during the four-game series against the Nationals “to help promote vaccinations and as part of the [state’s] Bridge Phase,” spokesman Julian Green told Playbook. The Cubs go to 60 percent capacity on May 28, when they play the Reds.

Given Wrigley Field is also a mass vaccination site, anyone who gets the vax will also get a voucher for a free hot dog and a drink.

Particularly irksome to some Republicans: that the Cubs would go along with the state rule given the team is co-owned by Republican Finance Chairman Todd Ricketts.

The Republicans’ letters remind that “the CDC has not yet advised that all age groups” get the vaccine. (Yes, but those 12 and older are encouraged to get their shots.) “Kids should focus on remembering to bring their gloves to ballgames, not be worried about bringing vaccination credentials.”

The Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman reports that the Chicago City Council’s Black Caucus has endorsed a civilian police oversight plan that Mayor Lori Lightfoot has rejected, setting the stage for what could be the mayor’s first council defeat — or at least a big battle.

The Black Caucus says it agreed by a 75 percent vote to join the council’s Hispanic and Progressive caucuses in endorsing a compromise ordinance on a civilian police oversight plan.

If approved, Chicagoans would be asked in next year’s primary whether to approve a binding referendum empowering a civilian police oversight commission to hire and fire the police superintendent, negotiate police contracts and set CPD’s budget, Spielman reports.

“Lightfoot would lose the power to hire and fire the police superintendent. Her Law Department and hand-picked negotiators would lose the power to negotiate police contracts,” Spielman writes.

The mayor has said she can’t “outsource” responsibility for the police department to a civilian oversight commission.

“I wear the jacket, as every mayor does, for violence in this city, for crime in this city,” she told reporters last month. “And the notion that we’re gonna outsource that to someone else and have no responsibility — no ability to impact this — I don’t know anybody who thinks that’s a good idea.”

As WTTW’s Heather Cherone reports, Lightfoot has promised but not yet produced her own plan for an elected board to oversee CPD after she dropped support for the measure crafted by the Grassroots Association for Police Accountability.

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

At Quinn Fire Academy at 10 a.m. for a badge dedication ceremony for paramedic Robert Truevillian.

No official public events.

No official public events.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday reported six additional deaths and 946 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 22,445 fatalities and 1,367,214 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from May 10 through 16 is 2.4 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 3.4 percent.

Pritzker says those fully vaccinated can drop masks in most situations, but Chicago maintaining status quo for now: “The state is no longer requiring fully vaccinated people to wear face masks in most situations under rules Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued Monday, putting Illinois in line with new federal guidance that caught many by surprise last week…Chicago’s health department issued a statement saying that Chicago would ‘broadly align’ with the state and CDC rules, but its more stringent masking requirements would remain in place for now. Officials said more details would be provided Tuesday,’ by Tribune’s Dan Petrella, Jenny Whidden and Gregory Pratt

Mask controversy spurs CDC to rethink its pandemic response: “The changes include creating a clear reporting chain from the new director of the agency’s vaccine task force up to Rochelle Walensky,” By POLITICO’s Erin Banco and Adam Cancryn.

Pritzker announces federal grants to help make rent payments, end to eviction moratorium in August: “The rental assistance program is expected to provide about 120,000 renters some relief. Struggling homeowners will also be able to tap into $400 million in mortgage assistance starting later in the summer, Pritzker said,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.

Illinois could require schools to teach fully in person this fall but has not issued a vaccine mandate: “A draft of the resolution states that beginning in the fall, ‘all schools must resume fully in-person learning for all student attendance days, provided that … remote instruction be made available for students who are not eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine and are under a quarantine order by a local public health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health,’” by Tribune’s Hannah Leone.

Medline and Sterigenics haven’t reported cancer-causing ethylene oxide emissions to EPA’s pollution inventory for years: “Annual pollution disclosures are the least that should be required from corporations, environmental activists said, especially when it comes to chemicals that thousands of Americans breathe every day,” by Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne.

Are Covid-19 jobless benefits keeping ‘healthy, able-bodied workers’ at home? Republicans, Pritzker disagree: “Illinoisans collecting unemployment insurance receive an extra $300 a week from the federal government, intended to help them through the pandemic. So far, 18 Republican governors have said they will not allow the extra benefits. Two Illinois Republicans say Pritzker shouldn’t, either,” by Sun-Times’ Andrew Sullender.

$693,792: That’s the lifetime tax tab for an Illinoisan: It ranks the state 10th in a Bureau of Labor Statistics report. New Jersey’s on top, at $931,698, via Bloomberg

DUELING ETHICS BILLS stalling despite multiple corruption scandals: “Sen. John Curran, R-Downers Grove, [has] introduced Senate Bill 1350 as the Republican ethics reform proposal. Senate Bill 4, introduced by Sen. Ann Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights, is the Democrats’ proposal for ethics reform and is still awaiting a vote on the Senate floor, despite passing committee unanimously about a month ago. Each bill has similar proposals to accomplish the same goals, but there are key differences. Under Curran’s bill, the attorney general could convene a grand jury to investigate public corruption,” by State Journal-Register’s Ben Szalinski.

Welch confident ethics reform will get done this session, by Quad-Cities/4 Jim Niedelman

At long last, a new Illinois energy bill is likely imminent: “It’s going to be a busy couple weeks”: After two years of tense negotiations, stakeholders agree that a sweeping new clean energy bill is likely to pass this month, writes Energy News Network’s Kari Lydersen.

— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Some high-profile nonprofit organizations have written a letter asking state leaders to use American Rescue Plan money to protect residents who don’t benefit from the funding. Among the group’s proposals: investing more than $100 million to provide cash assistance for undocumented immigrants, giving $2,400 cash payments to individuals who released from Illinois Department of Corrections custody since the start of the pandemic, directing $100 million to a fund that would help workers who lost jobs during the pandemic and could not qualify for unemployment insurance, and funneling $100 million to fund premium pay for frontline workers.

The letter was sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, Senate President Don Harmon, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie. Some of those signing the letter include The Chicago Community Trust, Heartland Alliance, Shriver Center on Poverty Law, and Economic Security for Illinois.

Bill aims to make it easier for public education employees to access FMLA time: “Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, most employers have to offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off if you worked more than 1,250 hours in a year. A new bill (HB 12) would decrease that eligibility number to 1,000 hours a year for public education employees in Illinois,” by WICS’ Jakob Emerson.

CPD announces new policy on search warrants after uproar over Anjanette Young raid: “The new policy, which goes into effect May 28, creates more safeguards for how officers obtain the right to search a home. The revised policy, for example, calls for a department member who is at the rank of lieutenant or above to be at the scene when the warrant is executed and for each member of the team serving the warrant to wear body cameras. A female member of the department also is required to be present during the service of the warrant, the policy states,” by Tribune’s Annie Sweeney and Jeremy Gorner.

Lightfoot has named interim leader for Chicago civilian police watchdog agency, official says: “Andrea Kersten previously was a top official for the agency under the leadership of Sydney Roberts, who resigned as the head of COPA last week,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner.

— CHEE-TER: The man who didn’t invent Flamin’ Hot Cheetos: “The idea that grew into Flamin’ Hots didn’t come from Rancho Cucamonga, or California, or even Frito-Lay’s home base in Texas. Six of the former employees remember inspiration coming from the corner stores of Chicago and Detroit,” via Los Angeles Times.

Big Nick Cave retrospective, a first for the Chicago artist, announced for MCA next year, by Tribune’s Christopher Borrelli

— EARMARKS: Guess who leads the list of suburban projects: “Of the eight area representatives whose requests were analyzed by the Daily Herald, Republican Adam Kinzinger of Channahon had the greatest total, with nearly $82 million in solicited funds. To prevent misuse, lawmakers must detail requests on their official websites — although some representatives have made their lists easier to find than others,” by Daily Herald’s Russell Lissau.

Group pushes county to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day: “Cook County is scheduled to hold a hearing on the proposed change next week and will likely vote on it in June,” by Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek.

NU president says he knew ‘optics’ of hiring Polisky would be tough: “President Morton Schapiro said he chose to do so after an independent investigation cleared Mike Polisky of wrongdoing while he was deputy athletic director. Schapiro has faced intense criticism and even protests outside his Evanston home over his handling of sexual harassment allegations involving cheerleaders, donors and Wildcat fans,” by WTTW’s Paul Caine.

Giannoulias gets Downstate county chairs’ endorsement for SOS Democratic nomination: “The 22-county Southern Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association voted to endorse Giannoulias for the nomination in the March 2022 primary. In addition, Giannoulias said four other Downstate counties gave their endorsement,” reports Tribune’s Rick Pearson.

Feds seeking plea deal with ex-Cook County debt collector: Donald Donagher Jr, who was Penn Penn Credit’s CEO, is alleged to have sought “to bribe court clerks, including former Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, to land or keep contracts,” by Cook County Record’s Jonathan Bilyk.

The uncertainty of study abroad: “Though local universities planned to relaunch programs this fall, some of the most popular study abroad locations — France, Spain and Italy — were recently singled out on the U.S. State Department’s ‘Do Not Travel’ list, which could change the outcome,” by Tribune’s Elyssa Cherney.

Kamala Harris broke multiple barriers and found a tricky balancing act on the other side, by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar

Cheney, unbound, settles into the ‘bull’s-eye of controversy,’ interview with POLITICO’s Melanie Zanona and Olivia Beavers

Supreme Court will hear direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, by POLITICO’s Alice Miranda Ollstein

Val Demings to run for Senate against Rubio, by POLITICO’s Marc Caputo

— Opinion: How Biden can be a leader in an Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has none, by Daniel Kurzer, a former ambassador to Israel, and Aaron David Miller a former State Department Middle East analyst, adviser and negotiator

The ‘Hungry Hound’ has a new job in town: “Steve Dolinsky made a name for himself covering the restaurant industry for ABC7. Now he’ll help match restaurants and landlords for a real estate firm,” by Crain’s Ally Marotti.

— Kara Highfill is now chief of staff for Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer. She previously was advocacy director and senior adviser for state Treasurer Michael Frerichs.

Cooley, a nationally known “Big Law” firm, has opened a Chicago office with a 10-partner launch team that includes attorneys from rival firms such as DLA Piper, Latham & Watkins and Winston & Strawn. Yvan-Claude Pierre, a corporate and capital markets partner at Cooley, has led the expansion along with Cooley Vice Chair Mike Lincoln. Founding partners: Rick Ginsberg (who has long represented Chicago billionaire Eric Lefkofsky); Laurie Bauer and Greg Grossman (who has represented the Pritzker Group Venture Capital and billionaire investor Brad Keywell) will focus on emerging companies and venture capital; Christina Roupas and Courtney Tygesson specialize in capital markets and public companies; M&A partner Erin Kirchner; fund formation partner Zach Robert; and employment partner Ryan Vann; and New York-based executive compensation and benefits partner Nyron Persaud.

Funeral for men killed in explosion near Starved Rock to be held Tuesday: “A GoFundMe has been launched to help the families of Inmer Rivera Tejada, 39; Rafael Rivera Tejada, 36; and their nephew Guillermo Rivera Tejada, who died in the blast,” by Sun-Times’ Grace Asiegbu

Family and friends mourn Mistress Velvet, an activist and dominatrix who made clients read Black feminist theory:Mistress Velvet championed many causes as an activist, including Black and transgender liberation, sex workers’ rights and anti-sexual violence. They died May 8,” by Block Club’s Jake Wittich.

An appeal to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong: Tribune reporter Gregory Pratt has published a letter in Medium asking the Los Angeles Times owner to vote “no” on Alden Global Capital’s bid to take Tribune Publishing private. “As Tribune Publishing’s second-largest shareholder, you can single-handedly keep Alden from sealing the deal,” wrote Pratt, who is the Chicago Tribune Guild president. The Tribune has reported that the deal requires the approval of two-thirds of shareholders not affiliated with Alden to pass — as well as the approval of Soon-Shiong, who so far has been silent on how he’ll vote. “We’re not asking you to buy the company, though that would be great,” writes Pratt. “But we are asking you to use your power to stop Alden from consolidating its own.”

POLITICAL EVENTS: Fundraisers are back. Here’s a full and updated list of events happening through the fall.

— Friday at 8 p.m.: WTTW’s “Chicago Stories” features the life of Ida B. Wells. Interviews include journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting and the landmark New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project.

MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Mark Palmer, chief counsel to the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and political consultant Frank Calabrese for correctly answering that Matthew Coghlan and Jackie Portman-Brown, who lost reelection in 2018 and 2020, respectively, were the only two Cook County Circuit Court judges to lose re-election in the past 30 years. Side note: Mauricio Araujo lost his retention bid last year, too, but he had already resigned before the election.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Which Illinois state park was once home to river pirates, outlaws, and bandits? Email to [email protected]

Former Exelon CEO John Rowe and former Corn Products CEO Sam Scott — who together head the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition.

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Feeds,News,Politics

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

May 18, 2021 at 07:33AM

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