Good Thursday morning, Illinois. POLITICO honors Juneteenth tomorrow, so we’re taking the day off. We’ll be back in your inbox Monday. In the meantime, consider celebrating the holiday by visiting a Black-owned business. Chicago has a few.
House lawmakers passed the Chicago elected school board bill Wednesday, dealing a blow to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, even as enough potential flaws in the measure were identified that a trailer bill with substantive changes is already in the works.
Sponsoring Rep. Delia Ramirez quickly put a hold on the measure — or a “brick,” as lawmakers call it. Her procedural move temporarily prevents the bill from going to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk, protects it from meddling opponents, and allows Lightfoot some time to talk with lawmakers about her concerns. House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch says the bill could be on hold for a few weeks while the mayor works with lawmakers.
Rep. Bob Rita voiced what some lawmakers were thinking: “I’m hoping that we’re not going to go forward and that this is going to be something that, down the line, we’re going to say our intentions were right and we did it wrong.”
Not everyone was so uneasy. The bill passed 70 to 41, after all.
Ramirez said elected board members would be “accountable” to residents. Rep. Kam Buckner said “This is not revolution — this is reform.” And Rep. Ann Williams called the bill “a long-awaited first step.” All are Chicago Democrats.
The Chicago Teachers Union said the vote “represents the will of the people.”
The bill’s passage is years in the making. Supporters say once it’s law — the governor is expected to sign it — disenfranchised communities would have a stronger voice in how their schools are run. Backers also point to numerous problems that have occurred under an appointed panel, from school closures in minority neighborhoods to mismanagement (can you say Barbara Byrd Bennett?).
Timing: The bill’s passage comes as Lightfoot is trying to name a new CEO to replace Janice Jackson, who is stepping down. And it comes just ahead of the mayor’s possible/likely plans for re-election. This isn’t a talking point she wants to belabor on the campaign trail.
How the school board would be formed: “The bill would phase in elections for a 21-person school board beginning in 2024, with some members elected and some appointed by the mayor. The board would be fully elected by 2027. Chicago’s current school board has seven members whom the mayor appoints,” explains Chalkbeat’s Stacey Rupolo.
The mayor’s concerns: The shift of power would be too rapid, it would deny minority representation, and it would cater to well-financed special interests and the CTU, report Tribune’s Rick Pearson and Dan Petrella.
The bill’s most immediate impact: “It prevents the school district from closing or consolidating any schools until 2025. The moratorium wouldn’t kick in until the bill goes into effect, which won’t be for a year. However, on Wednesday night Ramirez said she wants to advance a follow-up bill as soon as possible that would make the moratorium go into effect immediately,” reports WBEZ’s Sarah Karp.
MORE FROM SPRINGFIELD
— Why the Senate adjourned without voting on that big energy bill: “The developer of the massive new natural gas plant in Grundy County threatened to scrap the project, which is already under construction, if the measure passed as it was,” reports Crain’s Steve Daniels.
… Pritzker hopes the General Assembly can approve a clean-energy bill within weeks, by State Journal-Register’s Dean Olsen
— Details on the gun control bill to modernize FOID law, tighten private gun sale rules: “The bill passed by a 75-40 vote, but a procedural hold was placed on the measure to prevent it from going directly to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk. Supporters said they expected the hold to be lifted quickly,” by Tribune’s Rick Pearson.
Rep. Marie Newman and her daughter, Evie, headline a splashy special issue of Teen Vogue, (with video!) talking about trans rights, inclusion and how advocating for those issues has affected their family.
“Pretending to be something you’re not is literally the hardest thing on the planet, and is the most destructive thing to yourself, but also everybody around you.” Newman says in the interview. “If we can create an environment in our society where everybody is equal, which is the premise of the Equality Act, we’re all going to be happier.”
Background: When Evie first came out as trans, Newman said she closed her marketing business for three months so she could become “a full-time learner and an adequate supporter” of the trans community.
This all happened before she went to Congress. Once elected, Newman spoke passionately on the House floor about the Equality Act. She was later caught by surprise when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican known for her embrace of both Donald Trump and conspiracy theories, attacked Newman on Twitter, saying, “As mothers, we all love and support our children. But your biological son does NOT belong in my daughters’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams.” The two lawmakers have offices directly across from each other.
The Newmans survived the media storm with the support of friends, neighbors, and colleagues — including Republicans. The House eventually passed the Equality Act, but it now waits for the Senate to take up a vote, despite repeated calls from President Joe Biden to pass the bill.
“There’s a chance it will pass, but that takes work,” Newman told Teen Vogue. “I will ask everybody in America to continue to put pressure on their senators.”
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At the Martin Luther King Jr. Exhibit on Hamlin Avenue at 10:15 with Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady and other officials to announce the declaration of racism as a public health crisis in Chicago.
At the Thompson Center at 9 a.m. to discuss the state budget. At 10:30 a.m. he’ll be at Northwestern Memorial Hospital Feinberg Pavilion with Rep. La Shawn Ford to discuss racial health disparities. And at 1:30 p.m. he’ll be at Access Community Health Network to announce a new promotion to get residents vaccinated.
No official public events.
— NUMBERS SO LOW: The Illinois Department of Public Health says the number of Covid-19 cases in the state are continuing to drop, and the state’s seven-day positivity rate on all tests remains under 1 percent. Going forward, IDPH will offer detailed data only on Fridays. Chicago’s positivity rate on Wednesday was at 0.8 percent.
— Mask shaming: Illinois has reopened, but some of us are still wearing masks. How does that make you feel? By Tribune’s Darcel Rockett
President will sign the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law today.
That follows Congress’ overwhelming vote to make Juneteenth a federal holiday: The vote elevates the day marking the end of slavery to a national commemoration of emancipation amid a larger reckoning about America’s turbulent history with racism. “It is the first new federal holiday created by Congress since 1983, when lawmakers voted to establish Martin Luther King Jr. Day after a 15-year fight to commemorate the assassinated civil rights leader,” reports the Washington Post.
In Illinois, Pritzker makes Juneteenth a state holiday, an ‘essential step in our journey toward justice’: “Pritzker was joined by Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton and state legislators for the signing of House Bill 3992, which creates the Juneteenth National Freedom Day,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
After cancer diagnosis, state Rep. La Shawn Ford wants others to get screened: “When a doctor tells you you have an aggressive cancer and you have to have surgery, there’s automatically a feeling of fear,” said Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago. “The moral of the story is if I hadn’t advocated for myself it would have metastasized and become a death sentence.” Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton reports.
The Illinois Democratic Party is hosting a fundraiser Monday — its first big event under new management. Congresswoman Robin Kelly was elected party chair in March, after longtime party leader Michael Madigan stepped down. Monday’s event will be held at Joy District, a River North nightclub with a hip rooftop. Nearly 50 Democrats, including members of the Democratic Central Committee are part of the host committee, including Reps. Cheri Bustos, Danny Davis, Chuy Garcia and Bobby Rush. Entrance fees range from $50 to $10,000.
— Chicago USPS postmaster replaced after calls for her resignation over mail delays: “Wanda Prater, the leader of the U.S. Postal Service’s Chicago district, left that role Saturday following complaints from congressmen, aldermen and the local mail workers union about delivery delays. Taking the helm is Eddie Morgan Jr., who most recently served as postmaster of Kansas City, Mo.,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.
— Obama center’s delay to set a modern record for timetable to opening, “The groundbreaking for the center to celebrate [Barack] Obama and press its mission of fostering future leaders could finally happen late this summer after years of lawsuits, fundraising and federal reviews. … Presidential libraries opened in recent decades have done so in about half the time as what is expected for Mr. Obama’s center, Wall Street Journal calculations show. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library welcomed visitors just more than 1,000 days after Reagan’s last day in office. Bill Clinton’s took 1,398 days. Monuments to George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush averaged 1,653 days. It is likely the Obama center will open more than 3,100 days after the 44th president left the White House if construction starts in early September and takes no more than the four years now estimated,” by WSJ’s John McCormick in Chicago.
— INVESTIGATION: Female ex-lifeguards describe decades of sexual abuse at city beaches, pools: “Nearly a dozen women who worked as Chicago lifeguards over the last five decades” spoke to WBEZ about their “harrowing experiences at the city’s beaches and pools. They came forward since the station revealed the ongoing, internal probe of the park district’s Aquatics Department,” WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos reports.
— ‘It’s worse now than it’s ever been,’ says pastor as families seek answers to shooting in Englewood that killed 4, wounded 4 others: “The attack was the third mass shooting in Chicago in little over a week and came at the end of a burst of violence that saw more than 25 people shot across the city in 10 hours,” Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito, Andy Grimm, Fran Spielman, David Struett, and Madeline Kenney.
… 7 of the 8 victims in Englewood shooting were shot in the head, police say, by Sun-Times’ David Struett and Madeline Kenney
— CPS unveils pandemic recovery plan funded by half-billion in federal relief money: “The plan is part of $1.8 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funding that parent advocates have demanded be used to support the students hurt most by the pandemic,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— Chicago may resume water meter installations two years after troubling lead tests prompted a pause: “Cheng said the city is now testing an “ultra-sonic” meter that is potentially safer than the old version. Officials had suspected meter installation let loose particles that triggered elevated lead levels,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Anjanette Young, attorney blast Lightfoot, city for tactics during mediation over botched police raid: They called for “an investigation into the way the city Law Department handles cases filed against the Chicago Police Department, saying the city is compounding the trauma Young experiences and wasting taxpayer dollars fighting the case,” by Tribune’s Madeline Buckley.
— Great story: A single mom turned to Facebook to find someone to play ball with her son, and guess who showed up: Playbook readers who know Ashvin Lad won’t be surprised. Tribune’s Heidi Stevens reports.
‘the equity and inclusion agenda’ — Grating story: Fox commentator Tucker Carlson loves Mayor Lori Lightfoot with the same fervor that Donald Trump embraced Chicago. In his Wednesday night commentary, Carlson called Chicago’s mayor “demented” and “needing help” and criticized her for embracing “every part of the equity and inclusion agenda,” including Juneteenth.
— Camp directors lament counselor shortage, worrying they’ll welcome fewer campers: “Bobby Thomas, executive director of several YMCA camps, said they have been spending months assuring parents about the safety of summer camps after many were unable to operate last year. Now, they are fielding challenges with securing international camp counselors; usually, they have young adults come in to work at camps from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. ‘It’s down to the wire,’ he said,” by Tribune’s Alison Bowen.
— ‘Everywhere … something was burning’: How suburban firefighters helped in Rockton: “Fire units from Arlington Heights, Cary, Elgin, Lake Zurich, Mundelein, St. Charles and many other suburbs responded. By the time West Chicago Fire Chief Patrick Tanner was called there on Tuesday, a company from Louisiana was close to finishing off the blaze with a special foam,” by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit.
— Case against ex-Calumet Township employee Ethel Shelton dismissed; originally indicted in 2014: “[Ethel] Shelton, 75, was convicted by a federal jury in April 2018 of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud. In November 2019, she was sentenced to one year probation,” by Tribune’s Alexandra Kukulka.
— Family of man who died after beating by prison guards seeks compensation, says state lacks accountability: “Larry Earvin, 65, died in June 2018 from injuries a month after 13 prison officials beat him in a corridor of the Western Illinois Correctional Center where there were no security cameras, attorney Jon Erickson said at a news conference Wednesday outside the Thompson Center. Earvin, who was restrained during the assault, suffered 15 rib fractures, abrasions and hemorrhages, and fatal blunt trauma to the chest and abdomen, according to a federal indictment against three of the guards,” by Tribunes Maggie Prosser.
— DNA sample leads to arrest in sexual assault along Beach Park bike path, by Lake County News-Sun’s Clifford Ward
How MacKenzie Scott’s mega donation will support Chicago’s low-income, 1st-generation college students: “UIC, which received $40 million, and Kennedy-King, which received $5 million and is part of the city’s community college network, will use the contributions to support vulnerable students. The gifts, which represent the largest donation from a single person in either school’s history, are unique because they come unrestricted, meaning the schools can decide how to allocate them — free from donor influence,” reports Tribune’s Elyssa Cherney.
The legislative remap shows five Republicans now in new districts that were won by Democrats Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tammy Duckworth in 2016, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul in 2018, and Joe Biden in 2020, according to political consultant Frank Calabrese, who plotted out the map.
The five Republicans: Reps. Tom Morrison, Dan Brady, Jackie Haas, Keith Wheeler, and Mark Batinick. Democrats in control of the map appear to have spared Republican Rep. Michael Marron. Had Democrats given a portion of Rep. Carol Ammons’s heavily Democratic district to Marron, they might have picked up the seat.
House approves Gold Medal for Capitol Police to recognize Jan. 6 riot response, but Illinois rep opposed it: Rep. Mary Miller is among Republicans who voted against the measure. She’s the same Illinois lawmaker who has defied mask rules on the House floor and who invoked Hitler in a speech before the attack on the Capitol. “Twenty-one Republicans voted against granting Congress’ highest honor, nearly twice as many as opposed a similar bill in March,” reports POLITICO’s Nick Niedzwiadek.
— Biden to Putin: Help me help you, by POLITICO’s Nahal Toosi
— GOP hands Dems a new line of attack: They’re for ‘Trump over the cops,’ by POLITICO’s Melanie Zanona
— White House tries to privately calm Democratic fears on infrastructure deal, by POLITICO’s Laura Barrón-López
— Kathleen Caliento becomes president and CEO of Cara Collective starting July 6. Caliento is the outgoing chief learning and design officer at the Academy Group, where “she has worked to help people rise above the effects of poverty, while demonstrating a professional commitment to access and equity,” according to a statement. She replaces Maria Kim, who is now president of REDF, a national venture philanthropy based in California.
— Mitzi Miller, the former editor of Ebony and Jet magazines, is now a VP at Warner Brothers Studios in the TV development department. She left Chicago in 2015 to work in television and film. She most recently was head of development at Rainforest Entertainment.
WEDNESDAY’S ANSWER: Congrats to attorney Graham Grady for being first to answer that former Gov. Pat Quinn has (so far) run for every statewide constitutional office but comptroller.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What Canadian-born person became one of Illinois’ first statewide constitutional officers? Bonus: What town in Illinois was he from? Bonus-bonus: Why was he significant? Bonus-bonus-bonus: What portion of Illinois is named for this person? Email to [email protected]
Today: state Rep. Jeff Keicher (70th), MWRD Commissioner Kari Steele, Cook County Forest Preserve’s Eileen Figel, EMR principal consultant David Dolkart, Illinois Policy Institute senior researcher Adam Schuster, and Craig Roberts, who’s with the U.S. House Administration Committee.
Friday: state Rep. Aaron Ortiz (1st), TV news producer Lisa Barron, Beyond the Beltway radio host Bruce DuMont, former Ald. Solomon Gutstein, Axion Analytical Laboratories’ Antigone Polite, and journalist and former Better Government Association President Andy Shaw.
Saturday: Touch Communications owner Nina Mariano, entrepreneur Andrew Perlman, and Senate candidate William Olson.
Sunday: Joint Legislative Black Caucus Chair and Rep. Sonya Harper (6th), state Rep. Maurice West (67th), Cook County Circuit Court Judge James Shapiro, Benjamin Marshall Society’s Jane Lepauw, and Dan McManus, director of Strategic Initiatives for Sen. Duckworth.
via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq
June 17, 2021 at 07:26AM