Good Thursday morning, Illinois. You know it’s December when the headlines from Washington are about a government shutdown looming.
Two miniature trains zooming around the holiday tree in City Hall might be a metaphor for the Chicago City Council’s Black and Latino caucuses.
The Council’s Rules Committee finally went public with a map Wednesday but it is one that still had Black and Latino council members at odds. It doesn’t give the Latino Caucus the 15 wards it wants in a new map and the latest drawing also shows zig-zagging boundaries that push council members’ opponents into other wards and move tax-rich developments out of some wards and into others.
Consider the 50th Ward, where a political opponent of Ald. Debra Silverstein’s was strategically moved into the 40th Ward. “This is gerrymandering, it is gross and weakens our city,” tweeted community organizer Halle Quezada, who ran against Silverstein in 2019 and was planning to again in 2023.
The map was drawn by Michael Kasper, a longtime ally and adviser to former Speaker Michael Madigan, and supported by Black Caucus Chairman Ald. Jason Ervin.
The map gives an edge to Black-majority wards even though the city’s Latino population rose 5 percent in the latest census and Chicago’s Black population declined 10 percent over the past decade. It allows for 16 Black-majority wards and another ward where Black people are the largest minority (the 27th Ward long represented by Ald. Walter Burnett). That makes 17 Black wards.
The map also includes 14 Latino-majority wards, which is one less than that Latino Caucus is demanding.
An Asian-majority ward is part of the map, and three wards where no single racial group holds a majority are left intact (currently headed by two Black council members and one Latino alderperson).
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters on a Zoom call yesterday that she hadn’t yet seen the map — she’s conveniently in D.C., after all — and couldn’t comment.
Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) of the Latino Caucus said the proposal confirms his caucus’ belief “that the Rules Committee map slices and dices communities and disenfranchises Latino voters.”
Ervin says he sees the new map as “properly allocating” seats to Latinos. He told Playbook he’s fine with creating 15 Latino majority wards. “Have at it,” he said, “as long as they do that without affecting the African American community.”
Latino Caucus Chairman Ald. Gilbert Villegas criticized the map for dictating how Latino wards are being drawn. “Mike Kasper and the Rules Committee are using Trump-like tactics to say ‘You’re OK to pay property taxes, non-citizens. You’re OK to pay regressive fines and fees, non-citizens, But you don’t have the right for representation,’” Villegas said, referring to undocumented residents.
Like we said, tension!
What’s next: The council will hold two hearings on the map, and then public hearings will be held in January. “They could be wheeling and dealing for the next few months over the map that will determine the 2023 election layout. Even if a referendum petition is filed, the council could still continue to negotiate, and could still call off the public vote,” reports WBEZ’s Mariah Woelfel.
Talking points: In the coming weeks, the discussion is likely to center on “voting age population.” The Black Caucus has said it’s hesitant to expand Latino wards because Latinos tend to lean toward being younger and unable to vote. The Latino Caucus has pushed back at that talking point.
— Indicted Ald. Carrie Austin will retire as proposed map draws her out of ward: “Were the map to pass as-is, it would cut Austin out of the Far South Side ward where she’s been alderman since 1994,” reports Block Club’s Justin Laurence.
— The Latino Caucus has updated its proposed “Coalition Map.” (It’s online!)
— Chicago is also poised to make history by creating the first Asian American majority ward, notes ABC 7’s Craig Wall.
— Meanwhile… Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson tweeted that he’ll oppose plans for the 11th Ward to be a majority Asian ward.
— Lincoln Yards mega development is an area of contention: The draft map moves it from Brian Hopkins’ 2nd Ward to Scott Waugspeck’s 32nd Ward, notes WGN 9’s Tahman Bradley
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot missed the drama in City Council yesterday, but she held court for 53 minutes in a Zoom with reporters.
The big question: Why wasn’t she home for the council’s meeting on the remap?
“Let me see,” she said. “I could come to Washington, D.C., and advocate on behalf of the city about getting millions, hundreds of millions of dollars to support residents’ recovery from Covid, or I could preside over a City Council meeting that ended up with just the filing of a map.” (Good point.)
Lynn Sweet, the Sun-Times’ D.C. reporter, writes in her recap that she’s happy Lightfoot is in Washington: “The mayor is here because she’s following the money, a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the city and related governments and agencies to grab tons of new federal cash from the $1 trillion infrastructure bill. If the Senate can pass President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better social spending and climate change bill, there will be lots more.”
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Paulo Freire Family Center in Chicago at 11 a.m. to announce a new childcare stabilization grant enabling providers to continue serving their local communities. At the Thompson Center at 1 p.m. to attend the Gold Star Family tree lighting ceremony to honor Illinois veterans and their families.
No official public events.
At the Cook County Health Professional Building at 11:30 a.m. with health officials to discuss the importance of vaccines ahead of the holidays.
— Illinois’ Covid-19 hospitalization count the highest in 10 months: “The last time there were so many patients hospitalized was Feb. 2, IDPH records show. Officials said colder weather means more time spent indoors for many, increasing the likelihood of being exposed and infected,” by Daily Herald’s Jake Griffin.
— About 15% of Illinois residents have gotten Covid-19 booster shot, as Omicron enters U.S. and Illinois faces surge: “In all, about 1.9 million Illinois residents have been boosted, a number that shot up from 1.5 million less than two weeks ago, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration opened boosters to all adults,” by Tribune’s Lisa Schencker, Joe Mahr and Dan Petrella.
— Chicago ramps up testing as it anticipates omicron’s arrival: “I would expect that we would see some cases likely detected in the days or weeks to come,” Dr. Allison Arwady said Tuesday. WBEZ’s Katie O’Connell reports
— Illinois’ cost of debt falls as Chicago preps new bond sales: “Illinois’s $400 million municipal bond sale Wednesday is the first in a string of sales from issuers in the Land of Lincoln this month as the state’s cost to tap the $4 trillion market has shrunk following an improved outlook on increased revenue and billions in federal aid. ‘Illinois was able to get much improved spreads in rates compared to where they were a year ago,’ said Dan Solender, director of tax free fixed income investments for Lord, Abbett & Co., which holds $36 billion in muni assets including Illinois debt,” by Bloomberg’s Shruti Singh.
— Did former state employee cover up a rape in Champaign? ‘No. No way,’ he says: “For the first time, [Forrest] Ashby is speaking publicly about that explosive email and the ensuing scandal that cost a former Pritzker cabinet official his job, produced criminal investigations and legislative hearings and delivered yet another damaging blow to former Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan’s political circle,” by WBEZ’s Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold.
— Pritzker announces over $5M in funding for Quad Cities airport, by OurQuadCities.com’s Matt Holderman
— Chicago still has 42 ‘L’ stations that aren’t accessible to the disabled: “Those aging stations could get upgraded sooner than expected, thanks to a provision pushed by U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth that was included in the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill recently signed into law by President Joe Biden. The legislation sets aside $1.75 billion in grants for transit agencies to make their stations fully accessible, a program modeled after the Chicago Transit Authority’s 20-year plan to place elevators in all of its stations,” by Tribune’s Bill Ruthhart.
— It’s official: O’Hare’s latest runway extension is ready to roll: “Federal Aviation Administration officials this week signed off on the revamped runway, which is located on the north side of O’Hare and now stretches to 11,260 feet, or 2.1 miles,” by Daily Herald’s Marni Pyke.
LATE-BREAKING: Barack and Michelle Obama will be in Chicago today and Friday, according to the Obama Foundation. They will meet with community leaders addressing mental health, LGBTQ advocacy, violence, food insecurity, and economic opportunities.
— Chicago drops Covid-19 vaccine mandate lawsuit against police union: “Lightfoot said her decision comes after more officers have complied with her mandate for reporting their vaccine status,” by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt.
— A former Chicago lifeguard supervisor is charged with assaulting a second underage victim: “He allegedly gave his victim gifts, longer lunch breaks and shortened work hours because he had sex with her three to five times a week. However, “If the victim refused to do something, the defendant would punish the victim by making the victim stay on duty longer or perform extensive workouts,” according to court records,” by WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.
— Park District budget includes $600K for new sex abuse prevention unit, by Sun-Times’ Lauren FitzPatrick and Fran Spielman.
— Deny Southeast Side metal shredder’s permit, UIC dean — a former CDC official — tells Lightfoot: “Wayne Giles also said the city’s health and environmental impact review is “unjust and unacceptable” as the city reschedules a public meeting on the shredder for Dec. 9,” by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase.
— Schiff Hardin merging with D.C. law firm: “The combination of Schiff Hardin and Arent Fox will vault the newly merged firm into the nation’s top 100 law firms,” by Crain’s Steven Strahler.
— Accordion of ‘Polka Queen’ Vlasta Krsek featured in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ to be auctioned: “It’s part of an auction of Hollywood memorabilia that also includes John Travolta’s ‘Vincent Vega’ suit from ‘Pulp Fiction’ and Gal Gadot’s ‘Wonder Woman’ lasso,” by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell.
Abimbola Osundairo says Jussie Smollett asked to ‘fake beat him’: “I was confused. I looked puzzled. He [Smollett] explained to me that he wanted me to fake beat him up,” said Abimbola Osundairo, who met the actor while he worked as an extra on “Empire” in 2017. Sun-Times’ Matthew Hendrickson reports.
Osundairo’s long-awaited testimony, which continued into the evening Wednesday, “is a crucial part of the case against Smollett because the brothers’ cooperation with police turned the actor from the victim of a racist and homophobic attack into a suspected hoaxer. Smollett now faces felony charges of lying to police about the attack,” by Tribune’s Megan Crepeau and Jason Meisner.
— Fewer in Cook County are being charged with crimes. Why do Black people make up larger share of defendants? “More than 3 million criminal cases were filed in Cook County between 2000 and 2018. Over 60% of those were filed against Black people, according to an analysis of Cook County court data by The Circuit, even though Black people only make up about a quarter of the county’s population,” by Injustice Watch’s Josh McGhee and Better Government Association’s Jared Rutecki.
— Marine Academy official removed after sending anti-vax email to families: “Commandant Larry Kaifesh was ‘spreading false information about vaccines, which is just contrary to everything Dr. [Allison] Arwady and I have been preaching and speaking about,’ CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said Tuesday,” by Sun-Times’ By Nader Issa.
— Massive Tinley Park holiday lights display raisis money for charity but irritates neighbors, writes Daily Southtown’s Mike Nolan
— Chicago activist who declared ‘we are patriots’ charged in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach: “Larry Ligas is at least the 18th individual from Illinois charged in connection with the Capitol breach that interrupted the Electoral College vote count and led to the arrests of hundreds of people across the country,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.
… He was an outspoken supporter of Darren Bailey, reports WCIA’s Mark Maxwell
— Belvidere Republican hopes to unseat Dave Vella in Illinois’ 68th District: “A Belvidere Republican who thinks schools should leave sex ed to parents and teach students more respect for the founding fathers of the United States wants to represent the 68th District in the Illinois General Assembly,” by Rockford Register Star’s Jeff Kolkey.
… Vella continues in grandfather’s footsteps: “His grandfather, Edolo J. “Zeke” Giorgi, made a name for himself in the 1970s and ’80s as a state representative known for being able to move bills with bipartisan support,” writes Taylor Avery in Capitol News.
Only a few cannabis workers in Illinois are unionized 2 years after full legalization. Organizers say corporate owners have put up fierce resistance: “A lot of people running the industry don’t really seem to care about even just the culture and the benefits of cannabis, let alone their employees’ wellbeing,” said a budtender at Curaleaf’s Weed Street dispensary in Goose Island. Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba reports
We asked what’s something you accomplished moments before a deadline: Judge James Shapiro: “Getting my brief in on time for Appellate Advocacy in law school according to the naval observatory clock the professor put in the lobby. It was an annual tradition to watch people run up to time stamp their briefs by the noon deadline.” Attorney Michael R. Lieber: “One time I finished electronically filing a federal court brief right before the deadline while I was flying over Alaska on a 17-hour nonstop flight from San Francisco to Singapore.” Author Barbara Stubblefield: “Finishing a book right at the hour is both thrilling and maddening! And no matter how many times I say I won’t do it, I still find myself behind the eight ball.” And Seth Rosland, now a junior at Saint Viator High School, wrote: “I remember freshman year of high school I had a big essay paper due on a Friday at 8 a.m. and I waited until Thursday night to finish it and I think I finished it at like 11:45 p.m. that night and still got a decent grade on it.”
For tomorrow, what big event did you miss because you were called out of town? Email to [email protected]
— Trump intervenes in Ohio Senate primary — for himself, by POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt
— Symone Sanders to leave the VP’s office, by POLITICO’s Eugene Daniels, Christopher Cadelago and Daniel Lippman
— Stacey Abrams launches long-anticipated Georgia rematch bid, by POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro and Maya King
Rob Karr, president and CEO of Illinois Retail Merchants Association, is in Washington, D.C., this week — not part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s delegation, in case you are wondering. Karr is attending a summit to address illegal trade issues. He’s a member of the United to Safeguard America for Illegal Trade organization. The group is concerned about the illegal trafficking of drugs, tobacco, wildlife and even people.
Ted Erikson dies at 93; one of Chicago’s greatest swimmers was first to cross Lake Michigan: “In 1967, he swam approximately 28 miles from the Farallon Islands off of San Francisco — a haven for great white sharks — to the Golden Gate Bridge. To protect Mr. Erikson, ‘the captain rode in the boat and had a rifle to shoot at the sharks that were getting close to him,’ said his daughter,” by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell.
— Friday at 10 a.m.: Pulitzer Prize-winning author Margo Jefferson discusses her memoir, “Negroland,” about growing up in Chicago in the 1950s as part of Paul Simon Public Policy Institute’s “Illinois Authors” series sponsored by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.
WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats Mae Whiteside Williams, president and CEO of CKL Engineers, for correctly answering that Daniel Hale Williams performed the first heart surgery in 1891 in Chicago’s Provident Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses, the country’s first interracial hospital and nursing school.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was McHenry County’s most famous inmate? Email to [email protected]
Champaign County Auditor George Danos, Republican strategist Chris Robling, and Alex Short, assistant events director at University of Chicago Law School.
via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq
December 2, 2021 at 07:37AM