LATINO CAUCUS UNVEILS WARD DATA — KINZINGER’s ENERGY MOVE — MAYOR WANTS CITY WORKERS VAXED

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Happy Tuesday, Illinois. Actor and potential Texas political candidate Matthew McConaughey has the mantra of our time: Mask, vax and just keep livin.’

SCOOP: The Chicago City Council’s Latino Caucus revealed its ward by ward Census analysis, and the figures are startling.

They show exponential growth in the downtown 42nd Ward area represented by Ald. Brendan Reilly and declines in many of the South and West side wards that represent Black voters. Reilly’s ward grew by more than 27,000 residents, or 48 percent.

The biggest decline is in Ald. Carrie Austin’s 34th Ward, which has 6,761 fewer residents today than it did in 2010, or a 13 percent drop, according to the Latino Caucus’ analysis of the Census figures.

The detailed numbers come on the heels of Census data showing a statewide 5 percent statewide rise in Latino population (or about 40,000 people). Along with Chicago’s downtown growth, which is attributed in part to the Latinx community, there’s been an Latino uptick (at least percentage-wise) in areas where the Black population has declined, including in the West Englewood, Austin, and Chicago Lawn neighborhoods. Ald. Stephanie Coleman’s 16th Ward, which encompasses Englewood, gained 8,539 Latino residents since 2010 even though the ward declined by 2,400, according to the caucus. It’s now 48 percent Latino.

The data is fueling the Latino Caucus’s urge to see greater Latino representation on the city council.

“Right now, we’re just analyzing data since it’s fresh. We want to work with everyone in the city to ensure a fair map is produced for its citizens,” said Ald. Gilbert Villegas, a caucus leader who represents the 36th Ward area that’s seen 1,500 fewer residents.

Aldermen must redraw the ward maps by year-end, and the tension point is whether and how to create new boundaries that would increase Latino representation at the expense of Black and white wards.

In 2010, in order to keep Black wards intact, the council agreed to allow some of those wards to have fewer residents than the rest of the city. For now, the City Council is planning that each ward will have about 55,000 residents—a challenge for predominantly Black wards that already started with fewer residents.

Another talking point: Cook County Jail in Chicago’s 24th Ward saw population fall in 2020 because changes in the bond system allowed the release of detainees charged with low-level crimes. Some non-violent detainees also were released in order to keep the jail population down to prevent further spreading of Covid-19.

With the Census count based on where people live April 1, 2020, the jail population that day in 2020 was 4,727, down from about 9,600 a decade earlier. In all, the 24th Ward lost 6,665 residents, according to Census numbers.

What it means: There’s handwringing among city council members worried they won’t be able to hold on to their wards as they know them. That could play out in a few ways: they lose an electionor they retire.

ABOUT THE LEGISLATIVE REMAP…

A Supreme Court hearing on redistricting yesterday was a setback for Republicans and Democrats. The court denied the GOP’s summary judgement motion (as expected), but it also didn’t let Democrats off the hook. The case wasn’t dismissed as Democrats might have hoped. Instead, Democrats must show the court that they are addressing the concerns raised in litigation by Republicans and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) that the maps are being drawn fairly. The court’s litigation schedule could also allow for Republicans and MALDEF to depose Democrats’ experts about their concerns. (Like court supervision.)

In the meantime, Democrats are holding public hearings this week to address how to tweak the legislative maps that initially were drawn with early numbers now that they have new and final data. “The maps passed in May were drawn with the best data available at the time. Now that the long-awaited Census data has arrived, we will make adjustments as needed,” state Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago, who chairs the Senate Redistricting Committee, said in a statement Monday. Next week, lawmakers will return to Springfield to vote on newly revised legislative maps—which the court will also examine.

As Tribune’s Rick Pearson points out: “Republicans have alleged that there is a near 30% population variance in the Democratic-drawn House map between its most populous and least populous districts based on average population. That is beyond the 10% deviation that has been accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Worried that the state is running out of time to keep nuclear reactors at Byron and Dresden operating, Congressman Adam Kinzinger is calling for federal help.

The Republican from the 16th District sent a letter to President Joe Biden and other administration officials asking them “to consider employing emergency powers” to require the two Exelon-owned nuclear stations to continue operating “at least until Springfield or Washington can enact new laws to level the energy playing field and help financially struggling plants,” his team said in a release.

Nuclear power is necessary in the state’s clean-energy future because it keeps power going until alternative sources of energy are up and running.

The bill to kick start clean energy legislation and fund the nuclear plants was held up over a debate about how and whether to keep some coal operated plants open, too. That proposal has been debated since the spring legislative session.

A point of contention has to do with decarbonization targets. “A significant number of House and Senate members feel strongly that we cannot pass a comprehensive energy bill without leading on the climate issue,” state Rep. Ann Williams told Playbook. “That means providing definitive closure dates for the biggest polluters in Illinois, and ensuring a carbon free power sector. With everything happening globally, across the nation and even here in Chicago in terms of extreme weather, out of control wildfires and other climate damage, there is no other responsible way to move forward.”

Kinzinger’s move adds to the sense of urgency.

“Most people understand nuclear is critical as a bridge to a clean energy future and are willing to vote to keep the plants open,” said Williams. “But it’s hard to imagine that will happen without a serious meaningful decarbonization plan as part of the mix.”

Could a resolution come in time for next week’s legislative meeting in Springfield? Don’t count on it.

Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: skapos@politico.com

At the Old Post Office in Chicago at 11:30 a.m. to announce the expansion of Coinflip, the world’s leading cryptocurrency ATM operator.

No official public events.

Touring Beaubien Woods in the Forest Preserves at 11 a.m.

FDA approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, making way for more vaccine mandates: “It’s the first Covid-19 shot to win full licensure in the United States,” by POLITICO’s Katherine Ellen Foley and Lauren Gardner.

Lightfoot to impose vaccine mandate for city employees:We absolutely have to have a vaccine mandate. It’s for the safety of all involved, particularly members of the public who are interacting with city employees on a daily basis,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. But the head of the police union said they’ll fight any effort to require vaccinations. Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman and Tom Schuba report.

Hospitalizations spike among unvaccinated as ICU beds in Illinois dwindle:Less than 16 percent of Alexander County residents are fully vaccinated, even as coronavirus cases surge and regional ICU beds fill up,” reports Patch’s J. Ryne Danielson.

Freeport lawmaker files bill to allow local officials to determine a school’s masking policy, by WREX’s Andrew Carrigan.

— Jesse Ruiz, deputy governor for education, is stepping down. The Chicago attorney and former head of the Chicago Board of Education is returning to private practice, he told the Sun-Times. His exit follows that of another deputy governor, Dan Hynes, who supervised financial and economic development for Gov. J.B. Pritzker. And a top campaign aide, Quentin Fulks, just left to run U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock’s reelection campaign in Georgia. There’s nothing to read in the exits, according to Pritzker’s camp. After three years on the government rollercoaster, turnover is part of the job.

— Stephanie Sutton has been appointed by the Biden Administration to serve as senior advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy & Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Sutton most recently was director of External Affairs at the non-profit Global Ties, and before that was SVP and chief of staff at Chicago’s Edelman’s office. In 2017, she was a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Emerging Leaders program.

Loyola president to leave post: Jo Ann Rooney, who’s led the Jesuit university based in Rogers Park since 2016, said she is stepping down after "deep reflection" to focus on "some personal issues that warrant more of my attention.” Crain’s Elyssa Cherney reports.

Those who lost shot at weed licenses want probe of lottery winners with political connections, industry ties: This entire process smells of clout, collusion, political ties and ties to big cannabis,” said Jermell Chavis, a Marine veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq and a Chicago resident. He is challenging the process along with another vet, social equity applicants who qualified for the lotteries but didn’t win, and with state Rep. La Shawn Ford, sponsor of the law that helped create the lotteries, to challenge the process. Tribune’s Robert McCoppin reports.

Lightfoot wants Austin out as committee chair before crucial vote: “I think it’s virtually impossible for an alderman to be able to fulfill their responsibilities to their ward and residents who are in need, particularly now, when they have the sword of Damocles hanging over their head. And that is a federal indictment,” the mayor said Monday. Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman reports.

CPS schools are safe to reopen next week, mayor insists, despite lack of teachers union deal: “We think we’re close to an agreement on safety committees, which are the committees in each individual school that allow people to enforce building conditions to keep us safe in our schools,” CTU President Jesse Sharkey said. Tribune’s Tracy Swartz and John Byrne report

San Antonio schools superintendent, finalist for CPS CEO, says job ‘an opportunity that should be explored’: “The Chicago Sun-Times first reported that Pedro Martinez was emerging as a frontrunner to lead the nation’s third largest school system out of a group of 25 applicants,” by Nader Issa and Fran Spielman.

CPD to ‘double down’ on carjacking task force: “Task force of 40 officers has led 87% increase in arrests, but carjackings still are occurring in record-high numbers,” by Sun-Times’ Andy Grimm.

Disney closing Mag Mile store:By mid-September, the company will no longer operate any standalone stores in the Chicago area, though it plans to open more than 100 shops in Target stores around the country this year,” by Crain’s Alby Gallun.

District 203 reaches tentative deal with teachers, averting a strike: “The two sides had been negotiating since January. A mediator began working with the negotiating teams in June to resolve issues related to compensation and parental and family leave,” by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit.

Feds say members of Madigan’s inner circle weren’t ‘merely’ lobbying, urge judge not to toss charges: “It amounted to the latest volley in the high-stakes public corruption case swirling around ex-House Speaker Michael Madigan, who has not been criminally charged and denies wrongdoing,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.

Don’t forget about robotexts: While the FCC has been spending a lot of time on combating robocalls, the agency should make sure spam text messages are getting the same scrutiny, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, chair of the House Oversight Committee’s economic and consumer policy panel, wrote in a letter Friday. The Illinois Democrat requested the agency set up a briefing for subcommittee staff to stay up to date on what the FCC was doing to address spam texts.

“We want to be able to inform our constituents about the important work that FCC is doing to protect them from spam texts, and we want to be able to give them the best advice on how to protect themselves from scams,” Krishnamoorthi wrote to acting FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel.

Sadness and death: Inside the VA’s state nursing-home disaster, by POLITICO’s Joanne Kenen, Allan Vestal and Darius Tahir

America’s race against Afghan data, by POLITICO’s Sam Sabin and Heidi Vogt

Pelosi and centrists drag budget standoff into wee hours, by POLITICO’s Heather Caygle, Sarah Ferris and Nicholas Wu

Tyrone Tucker, whose Jet Petitions has been a prolific petition signature collector firm in Illinois, died from Covid-19-related complications Aug. 10. Visitation is today, 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Johnson Funeral Home, 5838 W. Division St.,Chicago. Wake is Wednesday at 12:30 p.m., followed by a funeral at 1 p.m.

— Today at 5 p.m.: State Sen. Jason Barickman fundraising reception at El Toro in Champaign. sara@thenewberggroup.org

— Today at 6 p.m.: State Rep. Kelly Cassidy’s annual Kelly-Oke fundraiser at Jarvis Square (outdoors).

— Today at 6 p.m.: State Rep. Jawaharial “Omar” Williams’ fundraising reception at O’Briens Riverwalk Cafe in Chicago. Special guests: Secretary of State Jesse White and Ald. Walter Burnett.

MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congratulations to law student Jaylin McClinton and educational consultant William Hogan for correctly answering that econ professor Charles Wheelan, author of “Naked Statistics,” ran unsuccessfully in the special election for Congress to fill the seat vacated by Rahm Emanuel after he became Obama’s chief of staff. (h/t Steve Sheffey for the question.)

TODAY’s QUESTION: Which African-American legislator was turned away from hotels during their service in the General Assembly and had to sleep in the train station? Email to skapos@politico.com

State Rep. Thaddeus Jones (29th), Chicago lawyer and politico Gery Chico, Berteau Consulting’s Zach Koutsky, JUF President Lonnie Nasatir, Durbin aide Brad Ruppert, and comms specialist Galia Slayen.

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August 24, 2021 at 07:01AM

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