PRITZKER, BIDEN ONE-ON-ONE — YARBROUGH TALKS RACE — LEGISLATIVE WATCHDOG OUT – Politico

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PRITZKER, BIDEN ONE-ON-ONE — YARBROUGH TALKS RACE — LEGISLATIVE WATCHDOG OUT

Happy Thursday, Illinois. The headline a year ago as municipal leaders begged for federal aid: “It’s dire.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker had a 30-minute sit-down with President Joe Biden to put a list of issues on the White House’s radar, including child care, early childhood education — two longtime priorities for the philanthropist-turned-governor — unemployment, and the rise in gun violence.

In an interview with Crain’s Greg Hinz, “Pritzker did not indicate that he’d received any definitive promises from Biden other than to fully consider any Illinois requests. But he said the session went ‘very well’ and described Biden as ‘gracious.’”

Regarding the issue of gun violence, Pritzker told the Tribune: “It’s obviously a national problem, but we see it in places like Rockford and other cities in Illinois, so I wanted to make sure that he was aware that we need assistance across the state wherever we might ask for it.”

Domestic Policy Council director Susan Rice was also part of the discussion, according to the Tribune.

The private meeting with Biden followed the splashy gathering with the president, VP Kamala Harris, two other governors and five mayors to talk about the administration’s bipartisan infrastructure package.

Biden’s message: “There are no Democratic roads or Republican bridges.”

Pritzker reiterated the point, telling reporters after the meeting, “Everybody has infrastructure, whatever their district and whatever their state.” NBC/5’s Mary Ann Ahern has more

Next: Mitch McConnell weighs giving Biden a bipartisan win, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine

Karen Yarbrough couldn’t bring herself to watch the killing of George Floyd until last month and when she finally did, she says, “I cried.”

It brought a lot of emotions the Cook County clerk has about race in America to the surface and how often people communicate without realizing they use racist, coded or offensive language, she told your Playbook host in an interview in her office.

The former state legislator isn’t one who seeks the microphone to talk about political culture or her personal life, but this week she had something to say.

The Sun-Times ultimately wrote an editorial that read “Do we really need Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough to throw a monkey wrench into the delivery of property bills that normally would be due Aug. 1?”

Yarbrough says she was sickened to see the word “monkey” used in the same sentence as her name. She said she received phone calls from people who also took offense.

“It’s careless and I think the media should be held to a higher standard,” she said, and she told the Sun-Times’ editors the same.

The Sun-Times responded with an editor’s note that reads, in part, “The Editorial Board did not see or intend any such racial connotation, but we have deleted the word from this editorial.”

Yarbrough’s glad for the tweak but wants to see a deeper discussion.

She compares it to when now-Gov. Ron DeSantis urged Florida voters to protect the state’s economy and not “monkey this up” by electing his Black gubernatorial opponent, Andrew Gillum, in 2018.

“It was a dog-whistle,” says Yarbrough.

“Every day of my Black life and every day for my grandsons’, Black men, we have to walk in a room and be on guard. We have to figure out ‘What will our response be?’”

In the past, Yarbrough says she’s ignored the waitress who looks past her to talk to a white friend. And she bit her tongue when a Springfield lobbyist once referred to “those people” in a discussion about affordable housing residents. It all piles up. “I’m a professional. I have to choose my words carefully,” Yarbrough says, “or I’m seen as an angry Black woman.”

Now, though, she wants to speak up. “I want to say ‘Hey, wake up. This isn’t going to be tolerated.’”

Reflecting on how the world has shifted since Floyd’s death, Yarbrough said, “We’re living in a new world in an old world. Some people haven’t let it go. They say, ‘What’s the big deal?’ Well, it is a big deal.”

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At Northwestern Pritzker School of Law at 9:15 a.m. to sign historic legislation on an equitable criminal justice system. At U. of I. Chicago at 11 a.m. for the groundbreaking for a Rebuild Illinois funded project at the campus. And at McCormick Place at 6:30 p.m. to kick off the Chicago Auto Show.

At 4800 S. Western Ave. at 10:30 a.m. to break ground on the new Chicago Park District administrative headquarters in the Brighton Park community.

At Provident Hospital at 10:30 a.m. to discuss Cook County’s vaccine distribution strategy and regional Covid-19 trends.

The local wing of the Bernie Sanders-aligned group Our Revolution has weighed in on the Illinois secretary of state primary, endorsing Democrat Alexi Giannoulias.

Clem Balanoff, chair emeritus of Our Illinois Revolution, called Giannoulias, a former banker, a “true progressive,” saying unlike secretaries of state across the country “seeking to disenfranchise voters with restrictive voting suppression laws,” Giannoulias would “protect voter rights.”

Our Illinois Revolution, which says it has more than 40,000 progressive members, in recent years endorsed Rep. Chuy García, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss and Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi.

Endorsing Giannoulias isn’t a complete surprise to political insiders who know that Balanoff is the brother of Tom Balanoff, who heads the SEIU — which also has endorsed Giannoulias. And Our Illinois Revolution is also closely aligned with Garcia, who endorsed Giannoulias, too.

LEGISLATIVE WATCHDOG RESIGNS: “Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope sent her letter of resignation to the Legislative Ethics Commission, offering to step down immediately, stay on while it finds a replacement or remain until her term ends in December,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.

Carol Pope calls the position a “paper tiger,” reports WTAX’s Dave Dahl

She says ethics laws passed in the spring “actually weakened her office,” reports NPR Illinois’ Hannah Meisel

Illinois’ ban on evictions to end Aug. 31, Pritzker says: “Pritzker’s announcement means the state’s ban on most evictions will have lasted more than 17 months after beginning in March 2020 when the governor ordered Illinois residents to stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.

Advocates call for more resources for homelessness as eviction ban ends: ““People who are in poverty are deeply vulnerable to any kind of disruption, and now we’re also seeing people who would never have dreamed that they’d need our services,” said Betty Bogg said, executive director of Connections for the Homeless. WTTW’s Kristen Thometz reports.

Swarms of mosquitoes emerge later in summer season after May drought, June’s heavy rainfall: “[Patrick] Irwin, the assistant director of the Northwest Mosquito Abatement District, said nuisance mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and lay their eggs near bodies of water or damp soil. Rainfall coats the eggs, allowing them to hatch. However, this year’s drought conditions allowed mosquito eggs to stockpile, and once rain broke the dry spell, heaps of mosquitoes emerged, he said,” by Tribune’s Maggie Prosser.

State Department of Agriculture looking to hire 600 seasonal employees for state fairs, by State Journal-Register’s Riley Eubanks

Illinois Covid Update: 742 cases, highest in over 6 weeks, 7 deaths, via ABC/7

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign the new cannabis legislation today, a bill that fixes the current law on how lotteries will be conducted for dispensary licenses. His signing will set in motion the process to get lotteries back on schedule. After the signing, Pritzker is expected to announce the date of the next lottery, according to MyStateline news.

If you’re traveling to Springfield: The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that the Lincoln Service, Carl Sandburg/Illinois Zephyr and Illini/Saluki state-supported Amtrak trains will resume full service effective Monday. Service levels had been reduced by half due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which made traveling to Springfield from Chicago a challenge. With the resumption of a full schedule, there will be five daily roundtrips between Chicago and St. Louis (including the Amtrak national Texas Eagle), two daily roundtrips between Chicago and Quincy, and three daily roundtrips between Chicago and Carbondale (including the Amtrak national City of New Orleans), IDOT said in a statement.

Gun discoveries in hotels, including in downtown Chicago, a security concern as Lollapalooza nears: “It’s still unknown why an Iowa man allegedly had a rifle with a laser scope in his hotel room overlooking a downtown Chicago beach over the Fourth of July weekend. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago police Superintendent David Brown have said they believe a disaster may have been averted, though no evidence has emerged that Keegan Casteel was planning any kind of attack,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Jeremy Gorner.

Curbside food waste collection? Deposits for cans and bottles? Study tosses out: “A new report has 63 recommendations aimed at easing the burden on taxpayers by reducing landfill costs, minimizing contamination of recyclables, increasing diversion and confronting environmental injustice inequities,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman and Brett Chase.

Report outlines foundations for ‘resilient’ Chicago neighborhoods: “The Urban Land Institute Chicago calls for policies to promote housing diversity, job growth and infrastructure spending, particularly in Black and Brown communities,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.

Council committee OKs lease for Boys & Girls Club on campus of new police and fire training academy: “Before agreeing to bankroll the new facility in the 4400 block of West Chicago Avenue, the Boys & Girls Clubs held a dozen focus groups with local youth, including students at Orr Community Academy,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Off-duty Chicago police officer found dead in apparent suicide: “It was the third such death by a member of the department this year,” by Sun-Times’ David Struett.

— Farewell to Spiaggia: Michigan Avenue’s Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia are closing after 37 years in business in Chicago. “Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in our efforts with the landlord to restructure our soon-to-expire lease, which was necessary to reflect the realities of operating a restaurant in an office building, post-pandemic,” according to an email from Levy Restaurants, which owns the famed Italian eateries. Politicos will remember Spiaggia as being a favorite restaurant of former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. Then-VP Joe Biden dined there. And Lally Daley, daughter of former Mayor Richard M. Daley and the late Maggie Daley, married there. A Tribune pays tribute with an editorial titled Arrivederci, Spiaggia!

— Opinion: The liturgy of Chicago mayoral politics: “It was billed as an anti-violence march starring [Arne] Duncan, basketball buddy of Barack Obama. Much of the media went along, offering it up as a non-political issue and if it nudged voters a bit, who’d complain?” John Kass writes

Cook County property tax bills can’t be delayed by questions about how senior discounts were calculated, Kim Foxx says: “In a letter to County Clerk Karen Yarbrough’s legal counsel this week, Foxx wrote that Yarbrough and Treasurer Maria Pappas lack authority to hold up the finalization of 2020 tax bills after Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s office finished its computations,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.

Aurora mayor makes pick for next top cop in latest appointments: Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin named “retired investigations Sgt. Guillermo Trujillo as the new deputy mayor; police Cmdr. Matthew Thomas as the next deputy chief; and Deputy Chief Keith Cross as the top cop, ready to lead the more than 300-member police force that serves the state’s second-largest city,” reports Daily Herald’s Lauren Rohr.

Ex-CPS principal hit with federal charges in alleged overtime-kickback scheme, pleads not guilty: “According to the 18-page indictment, [Sarah Jackson] Abedelal and several administrative underlings at Brennemann Elementary, including the assistant principal, a clerk and a business manager, ran the scheme over a seven-year period beginning in 2012,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Tracy Swartz.

Lawyer: Iowa man found with guns in Chicago hotel was here to propose to girlfriend, not launch mass attack as mayor and top cop claim: “The superintendent and other public officials have made Mr. [Keegan] Casteel a scapegoat in the face of widespread violence and actual shootings in the city of Chicago.” Sun-Times’ Matthew Hendrickson.

Judge dismisses Stop NorthPoint lawsuit: In a 19-page decision, the judge agreed with arguments that Stop NorthPoint failed to make a case for declaring the Compass Global Logistics Hub a nuisance before any construction begins,” by the Herald News’ Bob Okon.

Lawsuit filed after six injured in South Austin porch collapse, by Tribune’s Maggie Prosser

Jussie Smollett appears in court for hearing on his legal representation, but outside the public eye: “A Cook County judge heard more than five hours of testimony and arguments behind closed doors Wednesday to try and determine whether one of Jussie Smollett’s chosen attorneys should be disqualified from representing him over an alleged conflict of interest,” reports Tribune’s Megan Crepeau.

Will Dem Party chair get a seat at table for state fund raising? FEC expected to rule today on Robin Kelly’s role: “Carol Ronen, a Democratic state central committee who supported U.S. Rep Robin Kelly’s bid to lead the party, predicted the FEC ruling would leave Democrats “pleased.” But Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough, who supported a rival candidate, suggested, “We’ve got some decisions to make.”By Rachel Hinton

Virgin Galactic astronaut is a Glenbrook North grad who was ‘wide-eyed’ about science: “A 1987 graduate of Glenbrook North, Beth Moses was named a 2021 Distinguished Teacher Alumna of the school in May for her accomplishments in the field of aeronautics as the 63rd woman to fly in space,” by Daily Herald’s Madhu Krishnamurthy.

The future of work has arrived, and it’s messy, write POLITICO’s Ben White and Eleanor Mueller

Trump rages over post-presidential books he did interviews for, by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw

GOP messaging guru Luntz advised Biden’s Covid task force, by POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki

David Loveday, GOP strategist whose career spanned the White House, the Statehouse and the globe, dead at 65: “Dave Loveday was a colleague and friend who enjoyed many successful positions during his professional career,” said Lee Daniels, the former state House GOP leader who served two years as speaker in the mid-1990s. “His calm demeanor and professionalism was relied upon as we addressed the governmental issues of the day.” Tribune’s Rick Pearson reports

Chicago lawyer John F. Flannery, who obtained original patent for videotape recorder, dead at 92: “It ‘turned out to be a major product for Ampex, and it started the television industry as we know it today,’ a retired partner in his law firm said,” by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell.

Today at at 10:30 a.m.: Illinois House Committee on Cybersecurity meets to hear testimony about the potential for cyberattacks, fraud and security risks within the state system. Missing from the public comment list is a voice from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, which has received reports of hacked accounts… The governor’s office has told Rep. Lamont Robinson, who’s heading the hearing, that IDES will provide testimony for the next meeting.

Michael Halberstam resigns from Writers Theatre in Glencoe, by Tribune’s Chris Jones

— Blake Meyer is office manager for state Sen. Doris Turner’s Carlinville district office. He previously was an intern in the office.

— Brian Zilm is now city administrator for the City of Carlinville. He previous was office manager for Sen. Doris Turner’s office.

WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to U. of I. Chicago political professor Christopher Mooney and Cook County Clerk’s VA director Brian Cross for correctly answering that Bobby Schilling was the congressman who lost twice to Rep. Cheri Bustos in Illinois before going to Iowa, where he lost in a congressional GOP primary in 2020.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who is the Whig Illinois congressman credited with stopping a duel between Abraham Lincoln and James Shields? Email to [email protected]

Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr., former Rep. Dan Lipinski, Illinois Policy Institute VP Austin Berg, Aon National Director of Apprenticeships Shay Robinson, Executives’ Club comms officer Eva Penar, and Bloomberg reporter Liana B. Baker.

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July 15, 2021 at 08:41AM

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