‘Uncomfortable conversations’ on guns – Politico

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‘Uncomfortable conversations’ on guns

With help from Olivia Olander

Good Monday morning, Illinois. After a relaxing weekend, we’re gearing up for a busy few days.

A proposed assault weapons ban taking center stage today at a subject matter hearing will lay to bear the reality of racial disparities in Illinois.

The legislation is being proposed by state Rep. Bob Morgan, who represents the largely white community of Highland Park where seven people were gunned down in a mass shooting. The assault on families gathered for a July 4th parade accelerated interest in ramping up gun laws in Illinois — even though similar mass shootings have plagued Black and brown communities for years.

Facing the problem: “I think there will undoubtedly be some uncomfortable conversations about the racial disparities of the gun debate, but they are conversations that we must have,” Illinois House Black Caucus Chair Rep. Kam Buckner told Playbook. “We’ve seen far too many mass shootings in Illinois and whether it occurs in Highland Park, Washington Park or East Garfield Park, we have to be able to deal with this head on. Where you live shouldn’t determine if you live.”

Morgan, who was at the parade with his family when the shooting occurred, filed the legislation because of its impact on his community. He’s also supported past legislation tightening gun laws.

He’s scheduled to speak today alongside the bill’s co-sponsor, state Rep. La Shawn Ford, who represents a primarily Black community on Chicago’s West Side and whose family also has experienced violence first-hand. In April, Ford’s daughter was standing with two cousins when they saw another cousin shot dead.

The incident was mentioned in a story about weekend gun violence, but there otherwise was no acknowledgement of the shooting. It frustrates Ford, who has been a longtime advocate for looking at the root causes of violence on the South and West Sides.

Guns have not been ignored in Illinois. Lawmakers supported a ghost gun ban, fixed the FOID and reformed gun possession related to minors — legislation signed by Gov. JB Pritzker. But violence has persisted, primarily in Black and brown neighborhoods.

Banning assault weapons might change that, and it took the Highland Park shooting to do it. The governor has said he wants the assault weapons ban on his desk by July 4.

Ford says the debate isn’t exactly about race. “We all represent districts, and Rep. Morgan is focusing on his district as he should. And Black Caucus members also have their districts and are making sure that their districts aren’t forgotten about.”

RELATED: Elected officials, community advocates issue call to action at vigil for victims of gun violence in Hyde Park, by Sun-Times’ Emmanuel Camarillo

GOP TENSIONS: An effort to push out Illinois Republican Party Chair Don Tracy failed Saturday. Party bylaws say a chair can’t be fired just because an election is lost.

To his credit, Tracy allowed everyone, even the critics, to get in their two cents. The meeting went four hours with 60 speakers taking the mic. They each got 90 seconds, which irked folks who wanted to speak longer. The discourse revealed a party divided after an election that saw Democrats only tighten their grasp on the state legislature and Illinois Supreme Court.

“It hurts because we had such high hopes,” Tracy said in a report by Tribune’s Rick Pearson. The group gathered at the Bolingbrook Golf Club.

Mark Vargas, the new owner of the conservative Illinois Review website and friend of Donald Trump, tried rallying opposition to Tracy. “This movement isn’t going away. It is just beginning,” Vargas said, according to Pearson’s report. “Are we better off today than we were six months ago? No. Are you better off today than we were 12 months ago? No.” The audience echoed his “nos.”

The call to arms may have ginned up support for Vargas’ media company but not much else. Tracy continues to lead the party along with Vice Chair Mark Shaw, Treasurer Laura Pollastrini and Secretary Jan Weber.

And for those wondering, Vince Kolber is the GOP finance committee chair — and he’s been a registered Illinois voter since 1988 (to clarify misinformation that’s been posted in other places).

RELATED: Q&A: Why the Republican Party just can’t quit Trump, by POLITICO’s David Siders

If you’re former Illinois GOP Chair Tim Schneider, we’d like your take on the state of the Republican Party today. Email [email protected].

No official public events.

No official public events.

At Stroger Hospital at 4 p.m. to mark 20 years at its current location.

Illinois Supreme Court makes state history: “For the first time, the state’s high court is made up of a majority of women judges. And it’s by a 5-2 margin,” analysis by Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki.

Stellantis to idle Jeep Cherokee assembly plant in Belvidere: It was supposed to produce electric vehicles, reports Crain’s John Pletz.

About the black-crowned night herons: Abandoned nests reveal gaps in the state’s ability to protect endangered species, by Tribune’s Maddie Ellis

Docs to Pritzker: Truck diesel pollution is killing Illinoisans, by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase

Did Trump’s vote fraud claims lead Republicans to vote late and lose early? Republican leaders weigh in, by Derrick Blakley for Center for Illinois Politics.

— State Sen. Scott Bennett died Friday morning from complications of a brain tumor. Bennett, just 45 and with a young family, had been instrumental in getting a controversial trailer bill passed for the landmark criminal justice reform law that ends cash bail. He was a Democrat from Champaign and former prosecutor respected across the aisle.

Condolences and tributes poured in from Gov. JB Pritzker, state Sen. Don Harmon, Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie, Senate Republican Leader-Elect John Curran, House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and numerous other lawmakers.

Some were personal: State Treasurer Michael Frerichs called Bennett a close friend who “understood the value of hard work and was quick with words of encouragement at just the right time,” wrote Tribune’s news obit by Rick Pearson. And Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, a University of Illinois alum like Bennett, said in a statement: “We would often greet each other with alumni pride. Scott brought energy and joy whenever he entered a room.”

New Illinois Covid-19 disaster declaration, executive order as respiratory surge continues, by WGEM’s Mike Miletich

Health care providers warn children’s medications may be hard to find, by Sun-Times’ Allison Novelo

Dems’ final Covid report slams government failures: Ngozi Ezike, CEO of Sinai Chicago and former director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, will testify Wednesday at a congressional hearing, via POLITICO’s Alice Miranda Ollstein.

— ARRIVED: Chicago welcomed 11 new migrants Dec. 8, according to the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services. The city has now welcomed 3,751 asylum-seekers bused from the Texas border since Aug. 31.

Will white voters who helped elect Lori Lightfoot in 2019 stick with her in February? “It is one of the more unique mayoral races we’re coming into: coming off of the pandemic, the policing crisis, then Trump. I haven’t seen a more politically fragmented state of affairs in the city ever before,” says social scientist Robert Vargas said. Tribune’s Alice Yin, Gregory Pratt and A.D. Quig report.

— Paul Vallas, a Chicago mayoral candidate, is set to release his public safety plan today. His team says it’s “designed to restore and enhance police strength and to implement a proactive policing strategy.”

As Ald. Sadlowski Garza steps aside, five candidates compete for her Southeast Side council seat, by Block Club’s Maxwell Evans

— Ald. Byron Sigcho Lopez (25th) has been endorsed in his reelection bid by Cook County Commissioner and Chicago mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson.

Pekin mayoral candidate says her removal from the ballot was a ‘political hit job’, by Pekin Daily Times’ Mike Kramer

— GOOD EXPLAINER: FTX collapse shakes up Chicago crypto market, where its U.S. trading platform was going to be the next big thing: “Launched in January 2021, FTX.US established Chicago as its headquarters in June of that year. Four months after the Fulton Market grand opening,” there was an exodus of employees to Miami — and FTX.US fizzled in Chicago, reports Tribune’s Robert Channick.

In the Roseland neighborhood, Chicago’s ‘other’ Michigan Avenue is poised for a comeback: “A self-contained shopping district, the stretch from South 111th to 115th Streets has been targeted by the city’s planning department for reinvention,” by WBEZ’s Natalie Moore.

St. Sabina’s Fr. Michael Pfleger returns to first Sunday Mass following the end of archdiocese investigation, by Tribune’s William Lee

The Crowns hold out for a jewel on vacant downtown property, by Sun-Times’ David Roeder

Food insecurity among Black households up 36 percent since pandemic, by WTTW’s Jennifer Cotto

Faith leaders establishing credit union in Austin, a ‘game changer’ for West Side, by Sun-Times’ Michael Loria

After high-profile botched police raids, Cook County prosecutors implementing new requirements on search warrants: Prosecutors will “review search warrants for probable cause to report back on the outcome, a change meant to increase accountability for officers executing searches, the office announced Friday,” by Tribune’s Madeline Buckley.

In Winnetka, a plan to swap lakefront tracts with a billionaire has sparked debate: by Tribune’s Brian J. Rogal and Alex Hulvalchick

Kane County state’s attorney says Aurora police acted properly before fatal crash that followed vehicle pursuit, by Beacon-News’ Megan Jones

Chicago police remember Ella French in letters urging max sentence for man who bought gun, by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel

A budget cliff is looming for CTA and Metra, and fare hikes and service cuts might not be able to fill it, by Tribune’s Sarah Freishtat.

30 years ago, Englewood’s Racine Green Line station shut down. Now, neighbors want to bring it back, by Block Club’s Atavia Reed and Jamie Nesbitt Golden

More than just the Tumblers: “As he nears retirement, Jesse White reflects on his time in baseball, the military, 1955 Montgomery, as secretary of state and his work with a certain well-known gymnastics group,” by Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg.

We asked if you’ve ever consulted a fortune teller:

Janice Anderson: “Don’t vote for Democrats. (But that was in 1994.)”

Beth O’Mahoney: “In the 2000s, when I worked at the Thompson Center in Chicago, there was a fair in the atrium with a palm reader. This was during a time of transition and uncertainty in the agency I worked at. I asked about my future, and the reader said that the lines in my palm indicated everything was going to turn out OK. And it did.”

Marilynn Miller: “When I was 18, a fortune teller told me I’d soon see my Uncle Bud (who had run away to work in a circus — not to perform), and that he would have a broken leg. I saw him not long after. No broken leg, but he had terminal cancer.”

Andy Shaw: “As a reporter at the Illinois State Fair in 1998, I asked the fortune teller if then-Gov. Jim Edgar would run for re-election or a U.S. Senate seat in November. After looking into her crystal ball, she said, on camera: ‘Senate.’ Edgar, who was recovering from a heart ailment, ran for neither office, opting instead for a stress-free University of Illinois posting in Champaign-Urbana.”

What three adjectives described you in high school? Email [email protected]

‘The Merchant of Death is back in action’: Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who returned home Thursday in a swap for WNBA star Brittney Griner, had been held in a medium-security facility in Marion, Ill., by Elaine Shannon for POLITICO

What the Jan. 6 select committee’s final report will look like, by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney and Nicholas Wu

New Jersey overhauled its bail system under Christie. Now some Democrats want to roll it back, by POLITICO’s Matt Friedman and Joseph Spector

— IN MEMORIAM: Prominent U.S. soccer journalist dies while covering World Cup, by POLITICO’s Kierra Frazier

— OPINION: Howard Dean makes the case for Dems’ 2024 shakeup, via POLITICO

Judge Michael Toomin stepping away from bench and a decade of leading juvenile court: “His decadeslong career first began on 26th Street, as a lawyer and later as a criminal court judge. He’s played a significant role in high-profile cases, including most recently appointing a special prosecutor in the Jussie Smollett case,” by Tribune’s Madeline Buckley.

— Sarah M. Raisch has joined the civil rights team at Romanucci & Blandin, a national personal injury law firm in Chicago. She had spent a decade with the Lake County Public Defender’s Office.

A shout out to the Pikeland Pittsfield 7th grade girls basketball team for winning the 3A State Championship. The team was undefeated in the season, 27-0.

FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Ed Mazur for correctly answering that Frank Leland organized the Chicago Unions and Leland Giants, forerunners of the Negro League’s Chicago American Giants, and was a county commissioner from 1900 to 1914.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson grew up in which Chicago neighborhood? Email [email protected]

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Lindsay Huge, BGR Group CEO Bob Wood, Billy Goat Tavern owner Sam Sianis, businesswoman Kelly O’Brien, Greater Chicago Food Depository fundraiser Kathleen Jacob and Targeted Victory executive VP David Pasch.

Celebrated Saturday: Leo Louchios, senior policy adviser for Secretary of State Jesse White, and Ed Kelly, an aide to former Sen. Mark Kirk and Rep. John Porter.

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Ino Saves New

via rk2’s favorite articles on Inoreader https://ift.tt/5gVr3ZW

December 12, 2022 at 09:50AM

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