NYTimes op-ed, Megan Stielstra juxtaposes tonight's Chi-Town Rising event, which was once free but now costs $99-150 to attend, with the protests that are bringing people together for a very different reason. Meanwhile, Rick Perlstein writes in the New Yorker about " The Sudden But Well-Deserved Fall of Rahm Emanuel."
I'm stealing the headline from FoGB
Veronica Arreola, because it is perfect. There are so many Best of lists at this time of year, but if you want to know 15 (thankfully there are far more) women who did awesome stuff in Chicago this year, then go read about them. They're all awesome.
The Emanuel administration released a video of
a city pound worker choking a dog to death with a catch pole and then dragging it to a cage. The worker was suspended.
The Reader's Ben Joravsky takes a look back at
the year in politics.
Retired police officer and IPRA investigator Lorenzo Davis spoke with the NYTimes about the code of silence that keeps IPRA and other officers from acknowledging wrong-doing by police. DNAinfo's Mark Konkol
tracks the control of CPD not to the superintendent, but to City Hall.
The Department of Justice has
asked for community input regarding its investigation of CPD patterns and practices. Call 844-401-3735 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to share relevant info. [ via]
FiveThirtyEight digs through the recently released
police complaint data and finds bad cops are easy to spot.
Wheaton College political science professor
Larycia Hawkins was suspended for wearing a hijab during Advent "in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book."
Earlier this month a judge ruled that
CPD must notify the media before destroying police misconduct files, but the Fraternal Order of Police is still fighting to keep the files private. Explore what's already been released here.
Salon reports on
a recent investigation in which State's Attorney Anita Alvarez chose not to prosecute an officer who admitted to lying on the stand.
Before he was fired, former CPS superintendent Garry McCarthy went on a "listening tour" aimed at improving communication between police and the community.
DNAinfo obtained a draft of the PowerPoint presentation McCarthy prepared based on what he heard.
Chicago Teachers Union members
voted 96.5% yes on authorizing a strike should current contract negotiations break down.
Police Cmdr. Glenn Evans was
acquitted of misconduct and aggravated battery charges related to a 2013 incident in which he allegedly forced his gun down the throat of a suspect, despite DNA evidence on his gun.
In an Aldertrack/DNAinfo/WGN Radio poll,
most voters wouldn't be going for Anita Alvarez if the election were held today, and Latino, African-American and white voters all disapprove of Mayor Emanuel, though Latinos are still fairly confident in the police.
semi-famous photo of Bernie Sanders helping organize a sit-in protesting discriminatory housing practices in 1962 when he was a University of Chicago student actually may depict one of his classmates.
There are only three ways Chicago's citizens can be rid of Rahm Emanuel as mayor: indictment, death or resignation.
There's no recall or impeachment option. UPDATE: There's now a bill in Springfield that would create a system for recall of a Chicago mayor.
Black Youth Project 100 leaders took claims of sexual assault very seriously and suspended one of their own.
There will be
a Justice Department investigation into patterns and practices of the Chicago Police Department. In totally unrelated news, Independent Police Review Authority chief Scott Ando has resigned. (Also worth reading: Steve Rhodes' column on Rahm's editorial.)
Mayor Emanuel is
now in favor of a federal probe of the Chicago Police Department, and so are Sen. Dick Durbin and, surprisingly, State's Attorney Anita Alvarez. Meanwhile, DNAinfo is tracking statements from aldermen regarding the Laquan McDonald video, and the Emanuel approved the release of video from another year-old police shooting.
Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton joined Lisa Madigan in
calling for a federal probe into the police practices, as did a group of retired Chicago police officers. Seems like a good idea, especially since police are generally bad at investigating themselves.
Mayor Emanuel appeared at a
Politico event this morning (presumably booked long before the Laquan McDonald video was released.) Things got a bit testy when his family's holiday vacation plans came up.
not the first time the mayor has gotten upset about perceived violations of his family's privacy.
Forget Detroit, the National Review's Kevin D. Williamson
compares Chicago to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with Rahm Emanuel its despot leader.
fired Police Supt. Garry McCarthy last night. In a news conference this morning, he said, "The public trust in the leadership of the department has been shaken," and announced that a task force has been appointed to find ways to increase police accountability.
Darryl Holliday and Martin Macias talked with black activists about
why "black space" matters in the current black activism movement.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, former mayoral candidate Chuy Garcia and several Latino aldermen joined the calls for police chief Garry McCarthy and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign.
Britt Julious, Mary Mitchell, Amara Enyia, Brandon Smith, John Kass, Neil Steinberg, Eric Zorn, Steve Bogira, Tio Hardiman, Shaun King, Greg Hinz, Mark Konkol, Phil Huckelberry, Dan Mihalopoulos, Steve Rhodes, the Sun-Times and Tribune editorial boards, and students at North Lawndale College Prep.
Among the protesters arrested last night was
Malcolm London, a poet and activist who witnesses say was falsely accused of hitting a cop. Black aldermen are calling for his release, and the Chicago Community Bond Fund is accepting donations to help cover bail for London and the others who were arrested. UPDATE: Charges have been dropped against London. No word yet regarding the others arrested.
Protesters marched through the Loop and outside of the 17th District headquarters last night, while the Chicago Reporter explained how the police attempted to cover up Laquan McDonald's murder, and Daily Beast talked with detective Lorenzo Davis about three other murders allegedly covered up by the CPD and the Independent Police Review Authority.
CPS students are 45 percent Latino, but there's only one Latino school board member, Jesse Ruiz -- and
Mayor Emanuel is pushing him out. Ruiz is moving to the board of the Park District, and his replacement has yet to be named.
Hundreds braved the
snow and cold to sleep on Cricket Hill as part of the Out in the Open Sleep Out fundraiser this weekend.
Students who have been
protesting CPS budget cuts and school closures are part of a long tradition in Chicago.
passed a (symbolic) resolution establishing Chicago as a "sanctuary city" for Syrian refugees -- rebuking Gov. Rauner's ( equally symbolic) declaration that Illinois was off-limits.
In spite of Gov. Rauner's assertion that Illinois will no longer accept Syrian refugees,
a family of five is arriving in Chicago today with the assistance of Exodus World Service.
Gov. Rauner announced that
Illinois would temporarily stop accepting Syrian refugees, citing the attacks in Paris.
Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan, whose
funding to be the city's watchdog was cut earlier this year, spoke with Politico about his last day in office this past Friday, when a FBI van showed up unannounced and hauled away office computers and files. "I could never have envisioned a city like Chicago being so devoid of ethical morals and values when it came to our elected officials," he said.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission, long known for its anti-deportation activism, is providing sanctuary for Miguel Sanchez Olguin, an undocumented immigrant from Kansas City who faces deportation. The church recently won a visa for a Mexican woman who was the victim of domestic violence.
Chicago writer Emily Zanotti posits in The Federalist that the City's proposed
tax on bullets is misguided and unlikely to raise much money.
Aldertrack just released a Cook County 2016 budget overview [PDF] for those interested in what's going on over there.
database of police misconduct complaints went live today, allowing journalists and the public to research bad cops and connections between them over time. WBEZ tells the story of the fight to make this public. One of the first discoveries from the data is that while blacks are more likely to file misconduct complaints, those filed by whites are more likely to be upheld.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich made a
campaign stop at the Billy Goat yesterday. Meanwhile, Donald Trump got booed for mentioning Chicago at a rally in Springfield -- at which he also jumped on the Starbucks red cup controversy bandwagon.
Politico calls Sen. Mark Kirk "
the most endangered Republican in the country" in next year's election.
Gov. Rauner took all the menace out of the message "sleeps with the fishes" by
buying frozen tuna steaks for Rahm Emanuel at a butcher shop as a publicity stunt related to the state budget battle. Emanuel didn't take the bait.
You already know the
bad news for your bottom line in the latest city budget, which passed City Council Wednesday. Illinois Policy Institute introduces you to the the politicians who stand to profit from the property tax increase through the appeals system. (Incidentally, here's the list of aldermen who voted no.)
It's not a surprise, but the City Council
overwhelmingly approved the Lucas Museum on Wednesday. And the design "revised" using community input is still basically the same as the original.
petition to recall Gov. Rauner was launched three months ago, but signatures seem to be accelerating. Meanwhile, Crain's says even Republicans are losing patience.
Gov. Rauner instituted
limitations to day care subsidies that help homeless families and domestic violence survivors survive. As a Capitol Fax commenter noted, Rauner's tactic was to make this a wedge issue against unions.
CTA's budget is balanced, meaning no fare increase in 2016 -- but only if deadlocked Springfield approves.
CPD Superintendent Garry McCarthy is part of a group,
calling for changes to the justice system including reducing penalties for non-violent drug offenders. The group is meeting with President Obama today. Read McCarthy's column in USA Today.
Treasurer Kurt Summers thinks he has a solution to at least part of the city's budget woes:
take some cash out of the "piggy bank" of short-term investments.
BallotReady hopes to improve election turnout through comprehensive online voter guides.
announced a $250,000 gun buy-back program in an effort to get more guns off the street; the last such program was in 2012. This time, they won't accept inoperable guns, giving pro-gun groups less incentive to " game the system."
This summer, Chilean journalist Mathias Meier
documented protests against the City's efforts to clear the homeless out of Uptown.
At Bisnow, Chuck Sudo profiles the
City's new buildings commissioner, who's trying to modernize and streamline to get rid of some of the bureaucratic red tape tying up building permits.
The Guardian continues its
investigation of Homan Square, the Chicago Police Department's alleged secret interrogation center, and finds that at least 7,185 suspects were taken there between Aug. 2004 and June 30 of this year.
seized the cell phone of Court Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown last week as part of a federal investigation of her husband's involvement with a state-funded anti-violence program, as well as a land deal with a campaign donor.
Mitch O'Connell has a couple of
Donald Trump t-shirts that fans of They Live will appreciate.
pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges Tuesday -- but her co-defendents pleaded not guilty, setting up an opportunity for her to cooperate with investigators for a lenient sentence.
Meanwhile, in Cleveland, there's a "
Barbara Byrd-Bennett Professional Development Center" standing vacant, [ via]
Amusingly, Watchdog Arena, the citizen journalism arm of the conservative libertarian Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, described Catalyst Chicago reporter Sarah Karp, who
broke the no-bid contract story, as a " mother with a blog."
Toni Preckwinkle is proposing
taxing cable, bowling, golf and vapes in an effort to balance the county budget.
Interesting point: While Gov. Rauner is withholding state funding for services demanding term limits for legislators, the bill that would do that
wouldn't have an effect until the 2026 elections.
Gov. Rauner has proposed that the state government
sell and move out of the Thompson Center, Crain's Greg Hinz reports. The building, never a beauty, is in terrible shape, and could fetch attention as a potential tear-down.
Eight cities around the US have abolished Oct. 12 as Columbus Day in the past two months and instead have named it Indigenous People's Day. Seattle, Minneapolis, Berkeley are some of the big ones who have agreed with this trend. With the Columbus Day Parade and kids getting the day off, ChicagoNow blogger Teresa Puente makes a great argument. What do you think, Chicago?
The state budget stalemate has meant cuts all over -- and the latest belt-tightening comes at
Choose Chicago, which is laying off staffers. CeaseFire has also seen its state funding frozen, and so it's shutting down even as its services are more and more needed.
Former CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett, as well as SUPES Academy and its co-owners, Gary Solomon and Tom Vranas, have been
indicted on federal fraud charges in connection to the no-bid contract awarded to SUPES for professional training.
Taxi drivers plan a "
Day Without a Cab Driver" 24-hour strike Thursday morning till Friday morning in protest of Mayor Emanuel's proposal to allow rideshare drivers to pick up passengers at the airports and McCormick Place and fare increases.
CTU President Karen Lewis talked with Channel 5's Carol Marin and Mary Ann Ahern to
talk about her brain cancer, and took off her hat to show her scars publicly for the first time.
unionized last year, and are now petitioning to earn a living wage. Lend your support here. Meanwhile, StreetsBlog looks at how the Divvy for Everyone program, intended to bring bikesharing to underprivileged communities, is going.
Amara Enyia, executive director of the Austin Chamber of Commerce and
a candidate for mayor last election, is exploring the possibility of running against Rep. Danny Davis for the for the 7th District.
The City Council Black Caucus called for
the firing of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, saying he hasn't done enough to prevent violence in their wards.
Secretary of Education and
former CPS chief Arne Duncan announced today that stepping down and returning to Chicago. No word on what he'll be doing here, short of "spending time with his family."
Tribune is suing Mayor Emanuel because he's failed to fully comply with a FOIA requesting private emails and text messages regarding city business. ( Read the lawsuit here.)
cabbies shut down taxi travel at the airports Wednesday in protest of Emanuel's budget proposal allowing rideshare services access to the airports, another battle was waged in the courtroom. A federal judge paved the way for an equal-protection lawsuit against the City for treating rideshare services different from taxis.
City Council committee approved
an ordinance allowing food cart vendors to be licensed, taking another step toward providing a level of legitimacy to a long pseudo-illegal industry that's been asking for regulation for years. The ordinance next will go the full Council for approval.
Users of streaming services are
suing the City over its recent addition of a 9% Amusement tax on providers like Netflix, Spotify, and XBox Live.
Aldertrack's Cloutwiki is a primer on
Chicago's political players. Reporter-written entries profile Chicago's politicians in City Hall, Cook County, and Springfield.
Two recent Northwestern grads are starting a PAC to
support Donald Trump's run for president.
Mayor Emanuel is set to
call for the largest property tax increase in recent history so the City can make a major payment towards police and firefighter pensions, according to the Tribune.
Dyett hunger strikers entered their third week of protest after Mayor Emanuel would not say definitively that their school proposal would be accepted.
The City is
suing red camera maker Redflex for over $300 million after its executives were convicted on corruption charges for bribing local officials.
agreed to meet with hunger strikers from Dyett High School for the first time after they and other protesters disrupted a public hearing on the budget.
Illinois lottery winners won't get paid
until the state legislature passes a new budget, but as Democrats continue to battle with Gov. Rauner, it might take awhile.
While people are horrified by video of the killings in Virginia, many kids in Chicago
see gun violence in person on a regular basis, writes the Tribune's Peter Nickeas.
Data on gun-related homicides collected by the Cook County Medical Examiner
classifies Latinos as "white" and often classifies other ethnicities as "Other."
said he would no longer eat Oreos because of plans to close a Chicago-area factory and move its business to Mexico.
Over on Illinois Issues, GB contributor Thomas Gradel writes about latest round of
Illinois politicians in legal trouble.
Senior activists stopped traffic on Michigan Ave. to
protest planned state cuts to home care services.
It looks like President Obama
probably won't live in Chicago after his term is over.
calling for CPD to fire Detective Dante Servin for the killing of Rekia Boyd in 2012 shut down a meeting of the Chicago Police Board.
Implying Hurricane Katrina had an upside because it led to New Orleans' "rebirth,"
a column by the Tribune's Kristen McQueary stirred up a huge storm of criticism online.
GB's Jason Prechtel shares the story of
his investigation into how Chicago ended up with Ventra, and how he ended up suing the CTA for answers. You can read his coverage of Ventra in Mechanics.
A journalist is
suing the Chicago Police Department to get them to release dashboard camera video of an officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald last fall.
A local activist is trying to
lead an Oreo boycott in response to Mondelez International laying off 1,200 employees from its plant on the Southwest Side.
Gov. Rauner said
there will be no "special deals" for Chicago as Springfield works to broker deals on pension reform and other major issues.
Chicago may become the largest municipality in the country
to cover gender reassignment surgery for transgender city workers.
The Daily Beast explores the beef between current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and rapper/political hopeful Chief Keef, who tweeted his intent on Monday.
About 1,000 rape evidence kits from Chicago victims were submitted for analysis every year since 2008,
but only 271 came back last year; the rest remain untested. Aldermen are calling on CPD to explain the backlog.
Fixing Chicago's housing issues should start with
enforcing existing laws and tapping into the cash reserves at the Chicago Housing Authority to provide affordable places to live, writes Matt Hoffmann.
tweeted he's running for mayor as his beef with Mayor Emanuel continues.
Keef's recent performance via hologram at Crave Fest in Hammond was billed as an anti-violence effort but was still shut down by police. And
it's not the first time local politicians tried to censor speech, writes Neil Steinberg, adding that doing so also elevates Keef to folk hero status.
A local American Legion commander is calling on fellow veterans
to help prevent gun violence.
doesn't want to share who he meets with by releasing his schedule to the public, according to the Reader's Mick Dumke.
Chicago Magazine's Whet Moser
took a stroll down the 606 with Mayor Emanuel to talk about his plans for the Riverwalk and other parks in the city.
There are plenty of statues of fictional females around Chicago, but
none to actual, real women. Meanwhile there are 48 statues and busts of men. There are efforts afoot to change that.
Ald. John Arena
parked his car in front of a bulldozer to stop construction crews from closing a road in his ward in order to put up a digital billboard.
An investigator who deemed several police shootings unjustified was
fired after he ignored orders to change his findings, according to reporting by WBEZ.
Chicago's sales tax will be the
highest of any major U.S. city when it goes up to 10.25 percent, after the Cook County Board approved a one percent increase to pay for pensions and more.
The City is
eliminating some TIF districts used to funnel tax dollars into development projects in order to divert some of the money to CPS.
Nonprofits and childcare organizations are
scrambling to stay open as the budget impasse in Springfield delays (or potentially cuts) state funding.
gives Gov. Rauner barely passing grades for his first six months in office, with very low marks on major issues like pension reform and the budget.
a map of Chicago or Florida? Some people can't tell the difference.
A class action lawsuit filed against the Illinois Department of Corrections on behalf of thousands of inmates alleges
the prison system misuses and overuses solitary confinement.
Bankruptcy isn't inevitable in Chicago despite its massive pension obligations because the
city could raise enough money to cover regular payments on its debts, writes Saqib Bhatti in In These Times.
Property taxes in Chicago will go up 2.8%, or about $90 per homeowner on average, starting next month.
Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett made money
from an income tax loophole while working to close it, the BGA reports.
The FBI are investigating an executive at the firm managing Chicago's parking meters for allegedly
taking a bribe in return for steering business to a company.
The City is
changing the way it charges new building owners for water after an audit found it missed out on millions dollars of revenue.
don't want Spike Lee to get any tax breaks from the state for making "Chiraq" in Chicago, unless he changes the title.
While police Supt. Garry McCarthy is on a "listening tour" around the city, details of his stops remain scarce; but WBEZ received
an itinerary of planned events.
As Chicago passes the 1,000 mark for shooting victims this year, activists are
blaming cuts to social services for the increase in violence compared to last year.
Dennis Hastert is just the latest politician to
make the walk through the media gauntlet on his way into Chicago's federal courthouse.
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert will be in court in Chicago next week facing charges of bank fraud after attempting to pay over $1 million in hush money for "sexual misconduct;" the family of a now-deceased man
claims Hastert sexually abused him in high school.
cut through a barricaded door after protestors calling for a trauma center locked themselves inside an administration building Wednesday, and students protested budget cuts with a sit-in Thursday.
With the City trying to save every dollar it can, it
may be losing millions from the way it handles sign installations, according to the inspector general.
The federal judicial district based in Chicago saw 1,642 public corruption convictions from 1976-2013,
more than any other district.
Chicago Public Schools CEO
Barbara Byrd-Bennett resigned amid the ongoing federal investigation into a no-bid contract for a training firm she had ties to. She went on paid leave in mid-April. Read more about CPS's long history of corruption scandals.
Two (now former) Chicago cops pose with guns while standing over an African-American suspect wearing deer antlers in a photo
taken over a decade ago but recently made public.
Last night, President Obama demolished
the record for the fastest time to reach one million followers on Twitter with the creation of his personal account, @POTUS. The account reached one million followers in less than five hours. #recordbreaker
inauguration day for the mayor, aldermen, and other city officials - their four-year terms begin with a swearing-in ceremony at the Chicago Theatre.
Willie Wilson announced he's
running for president in 2016.
The Barack Obama Foundation
announced this morning that they've selected the South Side as the future location of their museum and presidential library. A more formal press conference will be held at noon today. The President and First Lady gave their thoughts on the decision in a YouTube video.
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled
legislation cutting government worker benefits was unconstitutional, seriously complicating any efforts to address the state's $105 billion pension debt.
City Council approved an ordinance
creating a reparations fund for victims of police torture under the former commander Jon Burge. In addition to $5.5 million for victims and their families, there will also be a public apology and the history of the case will be taught in CPS schools. The ordinance borrows from the UN's Convention against Torture and other international reparations plans.
Chicag Public Schools ask the Teachers Union for a
7 percent pay cut in their next contract. The CTU filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board yesterday.
While tax increment financing is one of the most convoluted parts of Chicago politics, at least a new map shows
where they are and what projects they're funding. ( via)
Staff, clients and supporters
marched Tuesday in protest of the closure of C4, one of the city's largest mental health services agencies.
After months of waiting,
news outlets report that the Obama Presidential Library will be built in Chicago, on the University of Chicago's proposed site in Washington Park. The official announcement is expected today.
Tonight's White Sox game versus the Orioles was postponed amid the Freddy Gray protests in Baltimore. The Sox
supported the decision, and Orioles COO John Angelos eloquently expressed his support of the protestors.
According to the Daily Beast, one of Aaron Schock's donors
is suing for a refund from the disgraced former U.S. representative.
Chicago college student Alaa Basatneh
talked with Channel 5 about her efforts to support the Syrian revolution and the documentary about her. #chicagoGirl screens at the Family of Woman Film Festival at the Wilmette Theatre tonight.
Newly-elected alderman Anthony Napolitano will be
City Council's lone Republican.
While pundits attribute Chuy Garcia's loss to
his lack of concrete plans, they say his candidacy exposed Mayor Emanuel's political vulnerability, making the election win a loss for Emanuel, and a possible victory for the progressives who oppose him.
Mayor Emanuel was re-elected, it looks like many of the 12 incumbent aldermen on Tuesday's ballot will be voted out, with estimated voter turnout near 40 percent.
Polls close at 7pm tonight, but a few will close at 8pm due to late starts this morning.
Edward McClelland argues that while Chicago's overall statistics may have improved under Mayor Emanuel,
things are actually worse in neighborhoods beyond downtown.
You can check out election guides by
DNAinfo, the Tribune, and the Sun-Times before heading to the polls.
Chicago's runoff elections are
in the international spotlight -- so let's make a good impression and head to the polls tomorrow.
Rahm + Kanye = Rahmye" is the math behind a short film criticizing Mayor Emanuel, produced by the Young Fugitives and the Grid's Ben Kolak.
Sen. Dick Durbin (IL) is battling with Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) for the Democrats' top spot in the Senate after Harry Reid announced his retirement.
Does Mayor Emanuel
have a big lead against Chuy Garcia, or is the race too close to call? Either way, progressives around the country are watching for strategies they could use to challenge Hillary Clinton.
Investors concerned with Chicago's major pension shortfalls are
growing wary of investing in the city.
how police shootings are handled by CPD, raising questions about the accuracy of official statistics.
Jason Narducy and his band
Split Single drove to Walkerton, IN to , the shop that announced it not eat at Memories Pizza wouldn't cater gay weddings after the state's RFRA law passed. Instead they bought $100 of pizza from the other pizza place in town, and fed it to the gathered journalists. Meanwhile, people have threatened Memories and defaced its Yelp page, leading to the owners closing the pizzeria for the time being.
WTTW hosted Rahm Emanuel and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for
their final debate ahead of the mayoral runoff elections. Questions about the criminal past of Garcia's son did not go over well.
Mayor Emanuel and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia will debate for the final time before the runoff elections
tonight on WTTW's Chicago Tonight.
The Tribune provides a way to explore the campaign donors for
Mayor Emanuel and Chuy Garcia.
Outgoing 2nd Ward Alderman and mayoral candidate
Bob Fioretti endorsed Rahm Emanuel in the runoff. Bit of a surprise considering Fioretti's outspoken criticism of the mayor over the past four years.
Rep. Tammy Duckworth is planning to
run for Senate against Sen. Mark Kirk.
When a lost pet is picked up off the street, it's
often down to luck for it to find its way back to its owners. Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey and activists are trying to change that.
would "make Chicago another Detroit" are not new, writes Edward McClelland in Belt Magazine, arguing those fears are probably unfounded.
Instagram photo of Mayor Emanuel by a health food store employee back in April is making the rounds this week. In These Times talked to the photographer, who said Emanuel is a notoriously bad tipper, and once tipped 37 cents on a $7 shake.
Mayor Emanuel floated the idea of
renaming either Midway or O'Hare after President Obama, saying that "we have airports named after battleships." (Um, not exactly, Mr. Mayor.)
Adam Andrzejewski of
American Transparency writes in Forbes that pay to play among Chicago's elites is still commonplace under Rahm Emanuel's tenure as mayor.
Mayor Emanuel's combative relationship with the press is
more typical for Washington, D.C. than Chicago, say reporters.
record number of voters headed to the polls for the first day of early voting Monday.
The New York Times looks at
which areas may decide the mayoral runoff election.
The rate of murders solved in Chicago
is the lowest it's been in decades and is declining, according to an investigation by WBEZ.
Last summer, African Americans were
subjected to almost three-fourths of 250,000 stops by CPD officers where the subjects weren't arrested, making the controversial practice more widespread in Chicago than in New York, according to the ACLU.
You can now
cast your ballot at any Early Voting site around the city for the April 7 runoff election.
Documents obtained by the Reader confirm that
Chicago police have been spying on activists ( previously). But they don't say why.
The City has been
borrowing from funds earmarked for affordable housing to pay pensions and other projects, while 280,000-plus people are on the waiting list for homes.
Dan Weissman did a two-part story for "Marketplace" looking at
the cost of police misconduct in Chicago and why the CPD doesn't seem to ask itself why are we getting sued?
The LA Times compares the controversial plan to site the potential Obama presidential library on Chicago Park District property
to previous presidential library plans.
It's been nearly 20 since the demolition of the Henry Horner Homes, presaging much of the Chicago Housing Authority's
Plan for Transformation. How is everything going? For another look at what life was like before the demolition, take a look at this Henry Horner Mothers' Guild video from 1991.
In case you're looking for an article about the mayoral race written for a national, rather than local, audience,
the NY Times published a major story on it.
The next phase of development of
the 606 is being affected by the state spending freeze enacted by Gov. Rauner. Fear not, though, the park will still open in June.
More trouble for Rep. Aaron Schock, this time for
allegedly accepting money from The Global Poverty Project to pay for his friend Jonathon Link to travel with Schock to India in August 2014.
PAWS Chicago is going door-to-door to see how pets and animals are faring around the city, bringing services to the streets instead of just building another animal shelter, writes blogger Vanessa Smetkowski.
Former mayoral hopefuls Willie Wilson and Ald. Bob Fioretti are among the high-profile figures who
still "need to hear more" before endorsing a candidate.
The University of Chicago hopes to find
which approaches to solving urban problems are the most effective by funding new and old ideas, and measuring the results.
Chuy Garcia was endorsed by both
Jesse Jackson and Congressman Danny Davis.
Tuesday is the deadline to
register to vote online or by mail ahead of the April 4 runoff election.
A train of carrying 103 tanks of crude oil derailed while on route to the Chicago area, prompting everyone from Senator Durbin, the state's Emergency Management Agency director and environmental activists
to warn about such an event happening in Chicago. You can check how close you live to "oil train" routes via the environmental group Forest Ethics.
On Friday, mayoral candidate Chuy Garcia announced that if elected
he'd shut down all the red light cameras in the city. On Sunday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the City would turn off 50 cameras at 25 intersections.
The April elections will
include the most ward runoffs since 1947 in addition to the first mayoral runoff ever.
halted all its anti-violence efforts after budget cuts by Gov. Rauner drastically reduced its funding.
admits he "can rub people the wrong way" in a new campaign ad.
Opponents of incumbents
Ald.Joe Moreno and Ald. Deb Mell filed suits calling for ballots from last week's election to be recounted.
If you're not registered to vote but the runoff has you suddenly motivated,
you're in luck, there's still time to register. You have until March 9 for absentee and March 10 for in-person voting. Early voting will run March 23 through April 4.
Campaign Finance Explorer, which lets you see who donated to the election campaigns all of the mayoral and aldermanic candidates. Dig deeper into the data yourself at Illinois Election Money.
Further coverage and reaction to the Guardian's story about Homan Square, CPD's alleged "black site" for CIA-style interrogation: Police spokesman Marty Maloney says the station is
no different from any other, Chicago Justice Project Executive Director Tracy Siska talks with The Atlantic, and Dan O'Neil offers the open data perspective.
After thoroughly covering the run-up to yesterday's election,
Aldertrack is going year-round with its e-newsletter covering Chicago politics. Subscribe by April 1 for a 10 percent discount off the annual rate.
In case you somehow didn't hear, Mayor Emanuel received 45.4 percent of the vote, triggering
the first mayoral runoff in history against Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who received 33.9 percent. Get ready to vote again April 7.
John Kass and Mick Dumke call loudly for a runoff, which Carol Felsenthal says would be humbling. And in the NYTimes, Megan Stielstra wonders, "If we don't like the guy ... why are we resigned to his re-election?"
"Downton Abbey" fan Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock apparently enjoys modern perks as well. According to the Associated Press, Schock used campaign and taxpayer funds on private flights, massages, and Katy Perry concert tickets for his interns.
Despite running unopposed, Ald. Ed Burke reportedly has over $8 million in campaign cash on hand,
far more than any other alderman.
After Gov. Rauner proposed funding cuts to the Regional Transportation Authority in his state budget, the
Active Transportation Alliance launched a petition to fight it.
WBEZ put together
a guide to the mayoral candidates' views on major issues like public safety, education, and jobs.
are Chicago's municipal elections held in February, anyway? Curious City finds out.
offering its Racing Form for free until Election Day; it includes details on aldermanic candidates, ward maps, and more.
The Chicago Reporter examines the economics of prisons in a story snappily titled "
Orange is the New Green."
a media tour to promote his new tell-all book, former Obama advisor David Axelrod said on "CBS This Morning" yesterday that Chicago will most likely get the Obama Presidential Library, although Sneed claims Michelle wants it to be in New York.
Tribune's endorsements and DNAinfo's election guide are worth checking out before you head to the polls.
Sixteenth Ward Alderman
JoAnn Thompson passed away last night during open heart surgery. She was 58.
Early voting starts today for the Municipal Election. The Board of Election Commissioners has a full list of early voting sites, should you want to cast your vote before the election on February 24.
Aside from the health benefits of medical marijuana, a
bill legalizing adult possession of up to 30g of pot could mean far fewer black men in Illinois prisons, HuffPo's Kim Bellware points out.
The thing that doesn't get talked about enough in race for mayor?
Racial segregation. So the Reader talked with most of them about it.
The state is
withdrawing its support for youth jobs programs in Chicago and other initiatives promised in the closing weeks of Gov. Pat Quinn's administration.
The Sun-Times editorial board released its
aldermanic candidate endorsements, saying those on the list seemed most willing to tackle taxes and pensions.
The interior decorator who recently gave Congressman Aaron Schock's office a "Downton Abbey"-themed renovation is likely in the dog house after giving a Washington Post reporter
an impromptu, private tour of the space, which is bedecked with feather arrangements, chandeliers and mirrors; the politician's staff later unsuccessfully tried to have the photos and story removed.
A timeline in the Reader
shows how Mayor Emanuel's stance on the minimum wage evolved amid fallout from the school closings and ongoing public pressure.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez endorsed Rahm Emanuel in a new Spanish language ad -- but Payton Prep student Karina Pantoja wonders:
Is the sexist language necessary?
McKinley Park residents were surprised and angered by
10,000 fake parking tickets on their cars, which turned out to be campaign flyers for 12th Ward aldermanic candidate Pete DeMay.
In These Times wonders
why unions are supporting Mayor Emanuel after he clashed with the Chicago Teachers Union during his first term.
In the Sun-Times, Laura Washington writes about some of the African-American politicians vying to be "
Three more aldermen
will run for reelection unopposed after challenging the signatures that got their would-be challengers on the ballot.
The School Project ( previously) debuted a new documentary yesterday at the Logan Center for the Arts at UofC. Chicago Public Schools: Closed is the second of a six-part series.
Rahm Emanuel is escalating the pattern started by his predecessor, Richard M. Daley, in selling off parts of the city to private enterprise.
In These Times reports on how everything from school services to infrastructure is being sold to bulk up the city budget.
Mayoral candidate Willie Wilson's autobiography
includes details of him hiring a prostitute as a teen, hitting his wife, and clashing with his estranged daughter, while also chronicling his rise from the son of a sharecropper to a millionaire.
Police will be
trying out body cameras for the first time starting this week in the Northwest Side district including Logan Square and Wicker Park.
Chicago's commitment to open civic data and the community that's built up around it are an example of how to do it right in Next City's overview of "
the open data movement's turbulent teenage years."
A new state eavesdropping law expands the ability of police to record conversations while making it
illegal to record someone while they have a "reasonable" expectation of privacy.
Mayor Emanuel got a perhaps unexpected endorsement:
the Sierra Club of Chicago, on account of his expansion of parkland and other environmental improvements.
Mayoral candidate Willie Wilson was on "
Hardball with Chris Matthews" Wednesday. The appearance did not convince many pundits of his readiness for the Fifth Floor.
The University of Chicago isn't the only institution
that wants to build in Jackson Park. Yoko Ono is working with a group called " Project 120 Chicago" on a redesign and reconstruction of the park to, among other things, "introduce the sky to people...like introducing a medicinal food..." Whether or not residents will take their medicine remains to be seen.
Piss Christ, the controversial photo by Andres Serrano of a plastic cross in a jar of urine, is back in the news thanks to the Charilie Hebdo attack and subsequent opinionating about free speech and censorship. So far, nobody's brought up , but it's just a matter of time. What is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag?
Former CPS Superintendent Ron Huberman is still involved in the school system -- running a company that places teachers at charter schools.
State Senator Rev. James Meeks was
appointed chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education by incoming Gov. Rauner. Meeks is a strong proponent of school vouchers.
The Reader investigates whether
Cook County prosecutors ignored evidence that would have exonerated Alstory Simon.
Mikva Challenge Project Soapbox contest asked Chicago students to answer the question, "If you were the next Mayor of Chicago, what is the first community issue you would tackle, and why?" WBEZ shares the 13 winners' responses.
In 2008, young Green Party candidate
Jremy Karpen ran against Toni Berrios for the state congressional seat covering Logan Square. Now, 26-year-old Carlos Ramirez-Rosa is fighting Rey Colon for 35th Ward alderman.
Chicago's two proposals for the Obama Presidential Library are allegedly
losing out to New York due to problems with the proposals. But are they really in jeopardy?
A bunch of
new laws go into effect on Thursday.
Related to the
previous, Subuk Hasnain recounts the political legacy of the KKK in the Chicago Reporter.
On Friday, activists
took over a Red Line train as part of a protest highlighting the nation's -- and the city's -- racial divide.
Former 50th Ward Alderman
Bernard Stone passed away last night. He was 87.
Stone was one of the city's longest serving alderman, and served as
vice mayor from 1998 until 2011. He lost the 2011 aldermanic election to Deborah Silverstein.
A pilot program approved by the Illinois Supreme Court will
add cameras to courtrooms in Cook County.
Rich Miller argues in Crain's that the best way to honor Judy Baar Topinka is to
combine the treasurer and comptroller's offices.
wrote a piece for CNN Money about what the City has been doing for small businesses through a grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge.
As the state mourns the passing of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, the matter of replacing her arises.
A special election may be called.
An amendment to a bill headed for Gov. Quinn's desk would make
recording conversations with law enforcement a class-3 felony -- and allows police to perform warrantless audio-visual/electronic surveillance on suspects in serious crimes for 24 hours with permission of a state's attorney instead of a judge. [ via, via]
The ACLU praised some aspects of the bill while panning others, noting that it does not explicitly ban recording of police -- however the language of the bill is vague enough on what a "private conversation" is that you can bet it'll be used by officers to stop recordings.
AMENDMENT TO SENATE BILL 1342
agrees with Mayor Emanuel more often than it did with the Daleys, according to a UIC professor, although the current mayor compromises more often.
South Side millionaire Dr. Willie Wilson plans to
spend up to $3 million of his own money on his mayoral campaign.
Cab drivers will receive as much as an
$8,000 increase in annual income -- without a taxi fare increase -- under an ordinance passed by City Council yesterday.
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka passed away today after suffering a stroke on Tuesday. She was 70. She had just won her second term as comptroller, her most recent role in a long political career.
The Chicago Police Department is using a controversial "
stingray" device to monitor and mess with cellular calls by protestors.
A Chicago Police Department escort for today's #BlackLivesMatter die-in and demonstration
blared "Sweet Home Alabama" while rolling by Madison and Pulaski.
Hundreds of protesters marched around downtown in response to a New York grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer responsible for the death of Eric Garner.
The Daily Beast reports on
"the most egregious uses of lethal force by Chicago police" and how such incidents are -- or aren't -- investigated.
Activists will be
outside Water Tower Place today, protesting the Ferguson Decision in a spot that maximizes exposure.
Both Ald. Bob Fioretti and Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia
officially filed to challenge Rahm Emanuel in the mayoral elections.
President Obama came to Chicago Tuesday to
make the case for his executive actions preventing the deportation undocumented immigrants with children born in the U.S.
Former congressman and judge
Abner Mikva received the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President Obama yesterday. He is the founder of the Mikva Challenge, a foundation encouraging civic engagement among students.
Demonstrators protesting the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO
shut down Lake Shore Drive for an hour and marched to the Thompson Center before being prevented from heading up Michigan Avenue by police. Check the #chi2ferguson hashtag for the play-by-play.
2011 mayoral candidate and former City Clerk Miguel del Valle
reflects on Jesus "Chuy" Garcia's chances in the upcoming elections, and the state of Latino and progressive issues, in a lengthy interview with the Chicago Reporter.
City Council passed a $7.3 billion budget,
including $62.4 million in new revenue from increased fees on things like water, parking, cell phones, and cable television.
Local lawmakers are
asking the SEC to investigate donations to Mayor Emanuel from executives of financial firm who manage city pension funds.
Potential candidates for mayor, alderman, and other city posts
filed their petition signatures to get on the ballot for the Feb. 24 election.
Former Mayor Jane Byrne
passed away. The city's first and only female mayor was 80.
Executives of investment firms that manage Chicago's pension funds
donated over $600,000 to support Rahm Emanuel's bid for mayor, possibly violating federal pay-to-play rules, according to the International Business Times. And Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner received $140,000 in campaign donations from the firms that manager state pension funds.
Assuming he can
get onto the ballot, will Chuy Garcia get support from the progressives? Can anybody stand up against Rahm?
Two recent profiles of Obama senior advisor (and former CTA chair) Valerie Jarrett in
Politico and The New Republic show the extent to which she holds sway over the White House...for better or worse.
The voice on the robocalls to election judges telling them to report for additional training was identified as 19th Ward Republican committeeman and
Water Reclamation Board candidate Jim Parrilli, but that leaves plenty of questions yet to answer.
Rauner is governor-elect, the Reader's Ben Joravsky returns his attention to Mayor Emanuel
The governor just held a press conference to
announce that despite ongoing vote counts, he has lost his re-election to Bruce Rauner.
Voters who encountered long lines, broken machines, or other problems on election day can
share their experiences and hopefully help improve the next election.
Some voters who went to polling places with same-day registration
waited for over eight hours to cast their ballots.
Bruce Rauner appears to have
won the election for Illinois governor, but Pat Quinn refused to concede, noting that it was too close to call with so many precincts and early votes left to tally.
Dozens of election judges quit or failed to appear at the polls
after receiving misleading information from robocalls and phone calls, according to officials.
Voters in southeastern Rogers Park can
vote until 8pm tonight because their polling place, the Leona's on Sheridan Road, didn't open for voting this morning. Police and firemen had to break into the restaurant to let election judges set up.
Politico looks at the
impact of Mayor Emanuel's political style on his reelection and career prospects.
The Reader's Mick Dumke and Ben Joravsky will be offering
their own election night coverage live at the Hideout, which will also be on cable and streaming on CAN TV.
If you want to get feedback on who to vote for
tomorrow, here's some help: Independent Voters of Illinois, Vote for Judges, the Chicago Bar Association, the Chicago Council of Lawyers, the Chicago Federation of Labor [ PDF], the Chicago Citizen, and the Daily Herald. Happy voting! Polls are open from 6am to 7pm.
Election officials are investigating Ald. Leslie Hairston after her
office offered raffle tickets to people for voting, although she has since admitted it was a mistake.
A group of DePaul students are
selling "Consent the D" t-shirts to support the movement against sexual assault on campus.
stole about $8,000 from the church of Pastor Corey Brooks, best known as the "rooftop pastor" for his time on the roof trying to close a problem motel. Brooks claims it's because he endorsed Bruce Rauner for governor.
Take Back Chicago aims to educate voters on how their aldermen stands on a variety of hot-button progressive issues, from charter schools to the $15 minimum wage. [ via]
Beachwood Reporter, the political song " Plutocrat."
Activists are taking their allegations of torture and mistreatment by Chicago police
to the United Nations in Switzerland.
City Council watchdog Faisal Khan is suing Mayor Emanuel and some aldermen for
hindering investigations by underfunding the agency in charge of them.
Sun-Times political reporter
Dave McKinney resigned today due to management's actions in response to pressure from the Bruce Rauner campaign following an investigative report on Rauner's lawsuit with the former CEO of LeapSource, a company the gubernatorial candidate's investment firm backed. CapitolFax, Reader and Crain's provide more of the backstory.
told President Obama, "Don't touch my girlfriend," while the Commander-in-chief was casting his vote here.
Early voting for the 2014 General Election starts today.
See the election board website for a full list of voting locations that will be open from today through Sunday, Nov. 2.
A coalition of civic and community-based organizations
signed up 100,000 new voters in four months.
It was annoucned today
Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis will not run for mayor. She was recently hospitalized for a " serious illness" The current candidates are Frederick Collins, William Kelly, former Ald. Robert Shaw, Amara Enyia, Ald. Bob Fioretti and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
A group tasked by City Council to find a way to raise money for services supporting the homeless is
proposing a progressive tax on real estate purchases over $1 million.
short quiz put together by ISideWith.com makes it easy to find which midterm election candidates and ballot measures line up with your own beliefs.
Aldertrack is back with a new "2015 Chicago Race Form" for following the city's elections. Keep your eye out for a paper copy, or buy a digital version for $5.
rated morning traffic on the Eisenhower more favorably than Mayor Emanuel in poll paid for by his challenger Ald. Fioretti.
New warnings of terrorism threats mostly get tuned out, but there's been growing evidence that ISIS may be recruiting in Chicago.
Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner
talked with Crain's about his platform this week. Greg Hinz already sounds skeptical, but Beachwood Reporter's Steve Rhodes absolutely shreds him. You may also wish to read Carol Felsenthal's profile of Rauner in Chicago magazine.
Plenario is a new open platform for working with civic data, developed by former Chicago CIO Brett Goldstein and Charlie Catlett at the University of Chicago Computation Institute's Urban Center for Computation and Data. WBEZ talked with Goldstein about the project's goals and uses.
Former Mayor Daley cut a sweetheart deal with Lollapalooza's organizers, and
it's still paying off: Daley's TUR Partners is helping C3 Presents create a redevelopment plan for a downtown Austin park.
Chicago Architecture Foundation is partnering with Cook County to
discuss future uses of the old Cook County Hospital, beginning with an online poll and a discussion tonight. [ via]
Mayor Emanuel has
decided not to name a selective enrollment high school after President Obama after all.
Ben Joravsky has a few
tips for anyone considering running for alderman on how to avoid the ire of Mayor Emanuel and the (officially unaffiliated) Chicago Forward political action committee.
Drug possession is the most common reason people are held in Cook County Jail, but 1 in 3 of these cases are dismissed,
costing taxpayers millions of dollars without offering treatment, according to the Chicago Reporter.
Proposals submitted by
UIC and U of C are among the four semi-finalists named today for the future site of the Obama Presidential Library; the other sites are Columbia University and the University of Hawaii. Barack and Michelle will select the winner early next year.
Current 2nd Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti
announced this weekend that he's running for mayor.
years of legal limbo, the largely immigrant food cart vendors still aren't technically legal. In These Times takes a look at their current plight and what's being done to change it.
Fast food workers in Chicago and across the country
are going on strike again today, calling for a minimum wage of $15 an hour and the right to form a union.
WBEZ's Alex Keefe digs into the dirty business of
political dirt digging.
Mayor Emanuel is committed to
raising the minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2018 regardless of any other wage increase passed by the state.
Longtime Alderman James Balcer is stepping down for health reasons,
giving a third-generation Daley the opportunity to run for a City Council seat.
Political hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation
continued even after Gov. Quinn replaced Rod Blagojevich, according to a state ethics investigator.
While redistricting will leave Ald. Bob Fioretti without a ward, he may
have a chance as the "anyone-but-Emanuel" mayoral candidate in February.
A majority of Chicagoans polled by the Chicago Tribune
blamed former Mayor Richard M. Daley for the city's current financial problems.
The local event for
National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) is tonight at 6pm in Daley Plaza. Wear something red.
Supporters of a new TIF in Washington Park
say it would support growth in the area, but some local property owners fear subsequent gentrification would force them out.
In light of the Center for Tax & Budget Accountability's
fiscal review of the Chicago Housing Authority, which found that the CHA has $432 million in unused federal money, activists are calling for more oversight of the agency by City Council.
"Surge teams" of llinois State Police officers will patrol four neighborhoods in Chicago and
seek out any wanted fugitives living there.
While Ald. Bob Fioretti hasn't announced whether he will run for mayor, he's already
recruiting staff members to help with the campaign.
Last week, Rep. Jan Schakowski tried the
Minimum Wage Challenge, along with several other congressmen, to live on $77 for the week. She failed.
Ald. Rey Colon decided against
volunteering as a "celebrity bartender" following his arrest for a DUI last week.
BGA investigates a city worker who was hired -- with no animal welfare experience and a hefty salary increase -- to help run the city's Animal Care & Control department. Shortly after starting his new job, he relinquished his own dog to the pound, and stranger still, the pup was immediately scooped up by PAWS. (Don't blame the dogs -- there are tons of great dogs available at CACC.)
There is not a single thing
named in former Mayor Jane Byrne's honor, WBEZ's Curious City reports, but efforts are afoot to change that.
Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's latest attack ad against Gov. Quinn includes several
made up headlines.
calling on the city's top watchdog to investigate unexplained spikes in ticketing by red light cameras uncovered by a Chicago Tribune investigation.
held a closed-door summit with local officials, clergy, activists, and law enforcement to discuss community-wide solutions to violence in the city.
Ald. Brendan Reilly is on a mission to
get Segways off the sidewalks.
As CTU President Karen Lewis considers a bid for Mayor, the Sun-Times asks
whether Chicago is facing a progressive movement like the one that took over politics in New York and other cities.
Thousands of protestors
marched in front of the Israeli consulate Sunday in protest of the invasion of the Gaza Strip by Israeli military forces. Meanwhile, someone put threatening anti-Jewish flyers on cars in the Pulaski Park neighborhood.
A feud between Chicago Police and city parking enforcement workers
is getting heated.
Communities in the Chicago area still recovering from severe storms and flooding that swept the area in April of 2013
will receive over $31 million in federal aid.
Ald. Tim Cullerton is not running for re-election, ending an era in which someone from his family was a member of City Council for 111 of the last 143 years.
TIF Viewer introduced by Cook County Clerk David Orr shows how much money has been collected for the notoriously opaque financing districts (once it works -- it seems to be down right now).
CTU chief Karen Lewis has
formed an exploratory committee to consider a run for Mayor against Rahm next year. Meanwhile, Toni Preckwinkle is officially out (despite a poll saying she'd easily win), and Amara Enyia, former alderman Robert Shaw and William J. Kelley are already running.
The City will
make (redacted) complaints against cops available to the public.
received less voter support than both Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and CTU President Karen Lewis in a poll of residents' potential mayoral picks.
plans on growing its presence in Chicago, promising over 400 new jobs so long as Gov. Quinn kills or changes proposed ride-share regulations.
Lawyers for former mayor Richard Daley claim he's
too sick to testify in the City's lawsuit against owners of the Park Grill restaurant. But just last week John Daley told reporters his brother was in "excellent health."
No longer on probation and permitted to travel, former Gov. George Ryan
reflects on the deaths of the Willis children and his wife, the prison system, and continuing his work to end the death penalty.
Here's one you don't hear every day: a politician, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, is
in unspent funds from her congressional office allowance. giving back $113,918.54
The Supreme Court ruled home health care workers in Illinois
can't be required to pay union dues, partly because they're not considered full-fledged state employees.
From pickup trucks to jeeps with over 80,000 miles, politicians
use their cars to show they're just like everyone else, even if they're really millionaires.
A program offering
free rides for low-income seniors and the disabled, and another providing free trash pickup, are facing increasing scrutiny after the inspector general found Chicago spends millions on free garbage collection for units that don't qualify.
The City and AFSCME, a union representing over 3,000 workers,
agreed on a tentative five-year contract, although it does not include any measures to address the city's looming pension issues.
The Sun-Times reports federal officials released incorrect information about
how runway updates at O'Hare would affect nearby communities prior to public hearings.
If Chicago's credit rating drops again, the city could end up
owing banks and investors nearly $200 million.
The Sun-Times reports that the City may be
stuck with a $200 million charge if its bond rating drops further, due to Daley administration-era financial moves.
Chicagoans dial 311 when they want a pothole fixed, graffiti blasted, or rats taken care of, and
a map shows Archer Heights residents make more calls to the City on a per person basis than any other 'hood.
Members of the Community Party USA
returned Chicago, where the party started, to celebrate its 95th anniversary.
Economist breaks down Chicago's pension crisis and Mayor Emanuel's efforts to get it under control.
refusing to abide by a do-not-hire list used by other city agencies to ensure people fired for misconduct are not re-hired.
After the FDIC shut down a bank in Little Village, a grassroots partnership
turned it into a credit union focused on helping residents avoid foreclosure.
The Reader's Steve Bogira examines the case for
picking a different location for the propsed Obama High School.
Chicagoans in certain neighborhoods are
still paying taxes set up in the 1980s to stem white flight, WBEZ's Natalie Moore reports.
Rep. Derrick Smith was
found guilty of corruption charges for accepting a bribe.
signed a bill backed by Mayor Emanuel increasing the amount some city workers pay into pension funds and decreasing the amount they get after retirement.
The Mayor's task force on the minimum wage
hosts its first public hearing tonight, giving residents a chance to weigh in on whether Chicago workers should be guaranteed wages of $15 an hour or some other amount.
compares public perceptions of Mayor Emanuel inside the Beltway in Washington, D.C., with those here in Chicago.
The 2nd Ward went from being one of the least gerrymandered to the very most over the past 80+ years, as WBEZ
demonstrates with a .gif.
While half of Chicago cabdrivers earn less than the minimum wage, the cab industry generates $30 million for the City every year, leading some drivers to
demand they be recognized as City employees.
Federal investigators say secretly recorded conversations reveal state Rep. Derrick Smith asking
how much "cheddar" (bribe money) people were willing to pay in return for his support.
The NYTimes editorial board
weighs in on Mayor Emanuel's proposal for limits on where and how gun shops may operate within city limits.
A proposed ordinance raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour
received support from 21 aldermen, only five votes short of a majority.
Mayor Emanuel proposed new regulations for gun shops
restricting them from doing business in most areas of the city and requiring them to videotape every sale.
Sun-Times political reporter Dan Mihalopoulos wrote about a column about how Pussy Riot members' upcoming performance at RiotFest is
an affront to Chicago's Orthodox Christians. Whet Moser argues that he might be missing the point behind the band's actions. (In Russia, reaction to their guerrilla performance in Christ the Savior Cathedral was mixed.)
Political organizations upset over school closings and other City Council decisions are
getting behind residents who want to run against their aldermen in the next election.
Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who worked with Edward Snowden to reveal widespread surveillance by the NSA, is
on tour with Haymarket Books this summer, and will be speaking June 26 at the Socialism 2014 Conference in Rosemont. GB's Jason Prechtel interviewed Greenwald at the Socialism Conference in 2012.
The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates makes
the case for slavery reparations by way of introducing us to Clyde Ross, a Mississippi-born son of share croppers who settled in North Lawndale, and Chicago's ongoing problems of segregation. You may want to save this one for weekend reading.
forced to shut down part of its corporate headquarters when over 2,000 protesters gathered outside for what may have been the largest demonstration ever faced by the company.
While the departure of the federal hiring monitor from Chicago signaled the end of patronage hiring in City government, Sun-Times' Carol Marin says that oversight
never applied to City Council, and political hires are still happening today.
Chicago State Senator Ira Silverstein proposed a ban on
wearing any kind of computer display while driving.
Despite City Council passing new rules decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, Chicago police are
still more likely to take someone to jail than write them a ticket, according to a new study.
A federal monitor tasked with investigating city hiring practices and combating political patronage is
ending its oversight role, satisfied new measures will keep politics out of the hiring process.
fast food workers in Chicago are on strike today, calling for $15 an hour and better working conditions.
A new video by the conservative Illinois Policy Institute tells the
story of Pickle the carriage horse and her owner, who would be put out of business if the city passes a ban on horse-drawn carriages.
Unsealed court documents detail
huge bribes taken by a former City Hall official in return for sending City business to red light camera operator Redflex Traffic Systems.
Residents of three different wards
chose how they wanted aldermanic "menu money" spent in their area, selecting projects like street resurfacing, bus stop benches, and walkway lights.
Hundreds of local fast food workers will
join a national strike against the restaurant chains on May 15.
Tribune editorial board member Kristen McQueary takes
Mayor Emanuel to task for being more swagger than substance while letting expenses pile up.
A higher rate of 17-year-olds voted in Cook County's March primaries
than people old enough to be their parents.
A grand jury is investigating an
anti-violence program connected to Gov. Pat Quinn, giving some major ammunition to rival gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner.
City Council passed a
citywide ban on the use of plastic bags by chain and franchise stores.
Despite being part of an "unscripted" series, Mayor Emanuel's interactions on CNN's "
Chicagoland" may have been set up by his staff and the show's producers. CNN denies the administration had editorial control.
NYTimes looks into Northwestern's campaign against the potential football player union, including mandatory one-on-one meetings with Coach Pat Fitzgerald, threats to cancel the construction of a new athletics center and warnings that a union vote would mean fewer employment opportunities after college. Additional details can also be gleaned from the university's internal response to anonymous questions, as published by CBS Sports.
Springfield lawmakers decided
not to ban medical marijuana cardholders from also being concealed carry cardholders. Meanwhile, would-be medical marijuana growers are complaining that it's too expensive to get licensed.
Metra released copies of more than 700 index cards
documenting when politicians used their clout to influence staffing decisions at the agency between 1983 and 1991.
The unemployment rate in Illinois isn't going down as quickly as in other Midwest states. The WSJ
points to Springfield's economic policies as the reason.
embroidered the names of every homicide victim in 2013 onto a quilt. It's on display at the Craft/Work exhibition at Beauty and Brawn Gallery through the end of the month.
As the ward map shifts, the relative clout of each alderman changes. The Sun-Times
maps it all out as it updates its Clout Meter.
The Office of Congressional Ethics is
investigating Rep. Bobby Rush following a Sun-Times/Better Government Association investigation into where $1 million earmarked for a South Side tech hub went.
The hedge fund company
Citadel, owned by billionaire Emanuel campaign contributor Kenneth Griffin, bought stock in Marriott just before the City gave the company the contract to run a new hotel next to the controversial DePaul basketball arena to be built next to McCormick Place.
The Illinois House voted 73-41 to
approve Mayor Emanuel's proposed fix of Chicago's pension system, including a property tax increase of $750 million over five years.
While Illinois has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country, the ten cities with the lowest percentage of out-of-work people in the state are
all in the suburbs of Chicago. [ via]
did not count a quarter of aggravated assault and battery victims for its 2012 statistics, according to an audit by the Inspector General.
Former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. was moved to a prison camp in Alabama after apparently clashing with officials at the federal prison where he was serving time
by advising other inmates of their rights.
A study by a Washington, D.C. think-tank found the City
should at least consider tapping into TIFs for funds to address its pension issues instead of raising taxes.
The salvage yard holding dozens of cars CPD suspects are stolen
received a property tax subsidy costing city taxpayers $162,000.
While Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says she hasn't decided whether she will run for Mayor next year, a
recent poll put her ahead of Mayor Emanuel in a head-to-head contest.
Open Gov Hack Night," the newest installment in our documentary film series The Grid, spends some time with folks trying to put civic data to good use.
Lacking connections and forced to apply for her job the old fashioned way, Chicago Magazine calls the 7th ward's Natashia Holmes "
the Unlikeliest Alderman in Chicago."
Politico's Roger Simon, who's
teaching at UofC's Institute of Politics this spring, recalls the lessons he learned in Chicago politics growing up on the South Side.
The City put together
a movie trailer for Chicago, complete with a gravelly-voiced narrator and an exploding wok sound effect that would make Michael Bay proud.
After shutting down half of its mental health clinics two years ago, the City is dedicating remaining resources to uninsured people, apparently leaving those who signed up for health benefits under the Affordable Care Act
to find care somewhere else.
Local aldermen want to
end Chicago's sister city relationship with Moscow in response to Vladimir Putin's seizure and annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
The House Ethics Committee is
investigating Rep. Luis Gutierrez, taking a look at annual payments of $50,000 made over 10 years to a contractor with connections to the congressman's former chief of staff.
Chicago wants to offer city-owned
vacant lots to homeowners and nonprofits in Englewood for $1. It's been done in Gary, and Chicago is hoping this would put some of over 5,000 current vacant lots to use.
NBC Chicago reports the City spent almost $6 million between 2008 and 2013 on
lawsuits from people who tripped and injured themselves on city sidewalks.
Primary Election results are in, and among the big winners is gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, while convicted felon and former alderman Isaac Carothers will not pass go in his pursuit of a seat on the Cook County Board.
Elvira Arellano, the undocumented immigrant who took refuge in a local church, igniting a fierce debate over deportation of parents of American-born children, is seeking refugee status in the US after allegedly receiving kidnapping threats for her human rights activism in Mexico.
There's still time to get to
your local polling place for today's Primary Election- polls are open until 7 p.m. tonight.
If you're looking at
your sample ballot for Tuesday's election and want to figure out who's getting your vote, here are some endorsements to get the ball rolling: the Tribune, the IVI-IPO, Vote for Judges, the League of Women Voters [ pdf], and the Illinois AFL-CIO [ pdf], Chicago Federation of Labor [ pdf]. The polls open at 6am and close at 7pm.
In an editorial last week, taxi newspaper Chicago Dispatcher
threatened to out five aldermen if City Council doesn't pass regulations against ridesharing services. It reads as potentially satirical, but LGBT advocates are understandably outraged.
Two Chicago area business school professors helped coordinate a new study that demonstrates
some of the ways women are discriminated against in scientific careers.
The 1% isn't elite enough for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner. "
Oh, I'm probably .01 percent," he said in an interview with the Sun-Times. Rauner has put $6 million of his own vast fortune into his campaign.
Steve Rhodes takes a
closer look at the story of Arthur Bishop, who resigned from his new post as head of DCFS after a WBEZ and the Sun-Times investigation found he pleaded guilty to stealing from clients at a social service agency 20 years ago.
downgraded bonds from the City of Chicago once again for having a level of unfunded pension debt higher than "any rated U.S. local government."
The Sun-Times debuted its new
Early & Often politics section yesterday with an interview with an "unapologetic" Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Chicago's two most powerful politicians formed an uncommon alliance to
oppose former alderman (and convicted felon) Isaac Carothers' candidacy for a seat on the county board, writes Mick Dumke.
Most 17-year-olds will be able to
vote in the upcoming primary elections on March 18, thanks to a new law.
Early voting for the March 18 primary elections begins today and runs through March 15.
Actor Seth Rogen, who appeared in front of a (sadly,
near-empty) Senate chamber yesterday to talk about the need for more funding for Alzheimer's research, called out Senator Mark Kirk, who tweeted a picture with Rogen before skipping out on his testimony.
A Cook Country jury
rewarded a former employee of Chicago State University $2.5 million after deciding he was fired for reporting misconduct by the university president. This verdict is the first resulting from a claim under the whistleblower protection clause of the state's ethics act, which was added in 2003.
Chicago radio host and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh called the LGBT community
"a group of constitutional terrorists" on Twitter Tuesday, in reference to the Arizona bill allowing businesses to deny services to LGBT customers. Walsh's tweets continued, as he said he felt forced to respect other people's constitutional liberties but others don't respect his.
An anti-violence program backed by Governor Quinn
left out some of Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods and lacked planning for how the $54.4 million dollars could be spent to reduce violence, according to an audit.
Chicago investment executive Mellody Hobson and her husband,
Star Wars creator George Lucas, are donating $25 million to support the creation of an arts center at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. The couple's donations make them one of Chicago's biggest philanthropists. With this donation, the couple has given at least $50 million to Chicago institutions since they were married here in 2013.
The battle between rideshare startups and taxicab companies at City Hall is
like a "heavyweight title fight," bringing out high-powered lobbyists for both sides, writes the Sun-Times' Fran Spielman.
Former Chicago congressman Mel Reynolds was arrested in Zimbabwe
for allegedly making pornography.
Tuesday is the last day to
register for the primary elections on March 18.
Chicago magazine's annual
Power 100 list is online. Number one is the mayor, number two is Michael Madigan. Beyond them, you may be surprised.
A top aide to Mayor Rahm Emanuel called for a halt to talk of making North Michigan Avenue a
motor vehicle free zone, referencing the failed experiment of closing State Street to traffic in 1979.
As Illinois officials try to determine how medical marijuana will roll out in Illinois, proposed rules would make it
cost about $500,000 to open up a dispensary.
A former employee of state treasurer/
globetrotter Dan Rutherford filed a lawsuit against his ex-boss (and Rutherford chief of staff Kyle Ham) today, claiming he was sexually harassed and forced to work on state time for Rutherford's political campaign.
The number of
beat cops is down 10% since 2011 and officers already on the street are picking up the slack- with some making more than their annual salary in overtime pay.
Proposed rules banning pet stores from selling dogs and cats supplied by for-profit breeders would
make sure area pets are not born in "puppy mills," according to City Clerk Susana Mendoza, who's championing the measure.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey will be
visiting Chicago on Feb. 11 for a Republican Governors Association fundraising event. He will also be giving a speech to The Economic Club of Chicago. His visit is scheduled in the midst of the George Washington Bridge scandal, upon which the RGA has remained neutral.
Conservative blogger RebelPundit interviewed activists from Chicago after the State of the Union Address, who offered some pretty
harsh criticism of President Obama.
After Chicago said
"hell no" to revenge porn kingpin Hunter Moore, a ban on revenge porn was introduced to Illinois legislature. The proposal would make it illegal for post revenge porn on the Internet without consent.
The total cost of Chicago's government pension debt is
$18,596 for every single person living in the city -- more than any other city in the country -- according to a new study.
The need to compensate private companies for any money they lose when the city handles public business- like paying a parking meter company when a street is closed- leads to many
unforeseen costs that defeat the money-saving aims of privatization, writes Ellen Dannin in truthout.
Ted McClelland delves into the
contradictions in Rahm Emanuel's mayorship for the American Prospect.
Susanne Atanus, a Republican challenger to Rep. Jan Schakowsky, said autism, dementia and tornadoes are
sent by God to punish the people of the United States for advancements in LGBT rights and other misdeeds. [ via]
In crafting the city's new policy allowing for gun sales, Mayor Emanuel is turning
to California for inspiration. Set to be active within six months, gun rights activists think that the Los Angeles influence will create strong restrictions on firearm retailers.
Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, the
documentary "Chicagoland" draws from "unprecedented access" to Mayor Emanuel and his work behind the scenes.
For the first time in its nearly two-year existence, Mayor Emanuel's Infrastructure Trust
won approval of a project to improve public buildings using privately-invested funds, after drastically scaling back the plan due to a lack of market interest.
Part of the mayor's housing plan includes a
proposal to sell some city-owned lots in Humboldt Park to a developer for $1 so they can build affordable housing there.
The City Council officially
banned use of e-cigarettes indoors under the same rules that restrict the smoking of regular cigarettes, with Mayor Emanuel saying it's necessary to keep kids from getting interested in them.
A federal judge granted Mayor Rahm Emanuel's request for
six months before firearm stores will open in Chicago so the city can craft new rules and regulations about where the shops can be located.
Gov. Quinn is pushing for
new emergency rules for the handling of petcoke, the powdery petroleum byproduct which gained attention after South Side residents complained the substance was blowing off of piles and into their neighborhoods.
The Sun-Times reveals gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner
gave $250,000 to Walter Payton College Prep, after he allegedly also pulled strings to get his daughter into the elite high school.
Mayor Emanuel agrees that
police statistics are kind of crap, but he wants CPD to be more aggressive in getting those numbers to go down.
The Cook County Electoral Board is
deciding whether former Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez may run for a seat on the county board, despite formerly being convicted of felony corruption charges.
Chicago mag's Cassie Walker Burke and the BGA take a look at
the rise and fall of Juan Rangel, former CEO of the United Neighborhood Organization, and
UNO's charter school mismanagement.
GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner would like to
lower the state minimum wage back to the national minimum of $7.25 an hour. Based on his annual earnings, Rauner makes $25,550 an hour.
Today, a federal judge found Chicago's ban on handgun sales within the city to be
Gawker thinks conservatives should "
stop hating on Chicago" because our murder rate isn't nearly the story they make it out to be, last year or this year.
From Mayor Emanuel's re-election bid to the City's yet unresolved pension issues, the Tribune
outlines the local political agenda for 2014.
Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner touts his support for charter schools and the need for CPS reform -- but
took advantage of clout to get his daughter into Walter Payton College Prep.
CPS wouldn't let
Concept Schools Inc. open additional charter schools in Chicago because their Chicago Math & Science Academy wasn't meeting expectations -- but a state commission controlled by Speaker Madigan overruled and let them open two new schools, with more on the way. And somehow Turkish interests are involved, the Sun-Times' Dan Mihalopoulos reports.
"In Chicago, they found a woman who holds the record," claimed Ronald Reagan in a 1976 campaign rally. The
real story of Linda Taylor, Reagan's notorious Cadillac-driving "welfare queen" is more nuanced.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is unveiling new
regulations today that will require large storage terminals in the city to store petroleum coke, coal and other bulk materials indoors to prevent pollution.
The Chicago Republican Party is
backing a slate of 18 candidates for the Illinois General Assembly, following an open vetting process described by party officials as similar to "American Idol."
Over $1 million was donated back in 2000 to build the Bobby L. Rush Center for Community Technology and help Englewood residents gain high-tech skills. The center was never built, so
where did all that money go?
Mayor Emanuel is currently a little past halfway through
a 24-hour fast he began last night at 7, along with some members of the Latino aldermanic caucus, in support of immigration reform.
Is it really necessary to
give TIF money to a developer building on lakefront property on the North Side? Apparently it is if it's the abandoned Cuneo Hospital ( previously) in Buena Park, Ben Joravsky reports. On the other hand, it's just a little more than the City gave the owners of the Wrigley Building to modernize it.
A proposal to regulate e-cigarettes the same way as tobacco products in Chicago
went nowhere in City Council.
Chicago's public pension system was built with serious structural flaws,
making a crisis inevitable, according to experts interviewed by WBEZ's Alex Keefe.
Juan Rangel, the CEO of the
United Neighborhood Organization, is stepping down today, months after it surfaced that UNO had awarded millions in charter school construction contracts to companies owned by family of board members.
More than 100 Black Panther party supporters commemorated International Revolutionary Day in Chicago by gathering at 2337 W. Monroe St., the place where Fred Hampton died, to honor the life of late party leader and film a re-enactment of his slaying. Party supporters will also celebrate this evening with a screening of
from 8-10pm at the Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St. Black Power! In Tribute to Fred Hampton
A former alderman and a former Streets and Sanitation commissioner, both of whom were convicted on felony corruption charges, are
running for the same spot on the Cook County Board (which was vacated by a politician who's now doing jail time).
State lawmakers are expected to vote on a major
overhaul to Illinois government worker pensions after a special legislative conference committee advanced the bill today.
Want to know where your Thanksgiving meal went? If you stayed in the Chicago area, it probably ended up at the
Stickney Water Reclamation Plant. Stickney is the largest wastewater treatment plant in the world and the subject of our newest episode of The Grid.
The NYTimes went over the
proposed Illinois pension plan bailout on Friday; you can look at it yourself here.
Mayor Emanuel's $7 billion budget
passed City Council today in a vote of 45-5, with its few critics saying it didn't do enough to hire more police officers or address the city's long-term deficits.
A federal judge ruled that one same-sex couple can get hitched before marriage equality goes into effect in Illinois on June 1 because
one of the partners has terminal cancer.
Chicago magazine takes a look at
the political empire of Michael Madigan, Illinois speaker of the House and master politician.
casino would generate more revenue for the City than a Barack Obama presidential library on the Near South Side, according to a new study.
Gov. Pat Quinn
signed Illinois' marriage equality bill into law in front of thousands of supporters at the UIC Forum. Same-sex marriages can be performed in the state starting June 1, 2014.
Remember how the proceeds from those new speed cameras was supposed to go into a "children's fund" for after-school programs, crossing guards and other good stuff? Yeah,
the fund doesn't exist.
If you like urban history and film, you may want to check out tonight's event at
Comfort Station. Preservation Chicago, the Chicago Film Archives and Kartemquin Films are teaming up to present three Chicago films about community change in the 1960s in 1970s in their original 16mm glory.
ChicagoCode.org, created by the OpenGov Foundation, makes the city's municipal code Public.Resource.Org's easier to search and reference online. Here's Carl Malamud's speech introducing the project. [ via]
Coya Paz recently attended a contentious meeting of the
South East Lake View Neighbors about the Broadway Youth Center, and was shocked at the bigoted comments made by attendees. She talked about it on Vocalo's "Morning AMp" Thursday.
Politico's Jason Zengerle
contrasts Rahm Emanuel's push for high-tech urban initiatives with his struggles over the " seemingly intractable problems" that come with running a city.
Two relatively popular measures, one that would return excess TIF funds to CPS and other agencies, and another that would call for a citywide vote on creating an elected school board,
failed to emerge from the City Council's Rules Committee, "where good legislation goes to die."
The Newberry Library has
digitized 175 volumes of the Chicago City Council Proceedings from 1865 to 1963 -- and now you can read it all online in the Internet Archive.
Chicago Cultural Plan, launched last year after questionably inclusive town hall meetings, won the Metropolitan Planning Council's 2013 Burnham Award for Excellence in Planning, but what has it actually accomplished? Deanna Isaacs takes a look.
Columbia College student Daniel Artaega founded
Create Change with Art to raise awareness of how the high school arts programs he says kept him out of gangs are being cut by CPS.
Gov. Quinn chose former CPS chief
Paul Vallas as his lieutenant governor running mate in the 2014 election. He's currently running Bridgeport, CT's school system, where he's been controversial.
The Tribune's investigative team takes
a close look at municipal bond abuse, and Chicago's use of bond debt to take care of everything from trash cans to maintaining empty warehouses.
What will be the legacy of outgoing transportation chief Gabe Klein?
John Greenfield evaluates. ( Previously.)
Mayor Emanuel didn't feel like sharing details about the city budget with the public, so a group of aldermen
did it on their own.
passed in the Illinois House and Senate today. The bill will now head to Gov. Quinn's desk, and he is expected to sign it.
In his first speech from the Senate floor since he suffered from a stroke, Sen. Mark Kirk
endorsed a measure banning workplace discrimination against LGBT workers.
A measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois comes to the
forefront as lawmakers gather for a final week of fall sessions.
CPD announced a new program that will
place police patrols in 20 parks around the city where crime is a problem.
Residents on the South Side
filed a class-action lawsuit against the shipping company responsible for storing huge piles of the oil refinery byproduct petcoke, saying dust from it blows off and coats everything in the neighborhood.
Chicago Transportation Commissioner
Gabe Klein is resigning, effective the end of November.
After a report from the
Better Government Association on the Speaker Madigan's political footmen, the Sun-Times reports Madigan shot back with an angry letter to the Democratic Caucus, accusing BGA President Andy Shaw of trying to "become a kingmaker in Illinois politics."
In These Times reports that going to school during the teachers strike and school closures radicalized many CPS students, and they
are organizing across the city.
debuted a nearly $7 billion budget for Chicago today while calling on legislators in Springfield to pass pension reform.
A rally against governmental surveillance is being planned for Federal Plaza this Saturday, part of a national campaign in support of Fourth Amendment rights.
In a continuing effort to close Chicago's budget gap, Mayor Emanuel will propose
increasing the taxes on cable TV and hiking parking fines and towing fees.
John Tolva, the City's CTO, is
leaving the Emanuel administration Nov. 1.
give Mayor Emanuel mixed grades on his Midterm Report Card for his handling of school closings, violence, the city's nearly $1 billion deficit, and other issues.
Mayor Emanuel wants to
increase the cigarette tax by 75 cents, making the total taxes on Chicago smokes the highest in the country.
Former Mayor Daley apparently
doesn't remember much of the planning and politicking of Millennium Park, at least according to depositions he gave in the ongoing lawsuit pitting the Emanuel administration against the Daley-connected owners of Park Grill.
Read the whole deposition here:
DNAinfo Chicago reports City Council approved $125 million in tax incentives on Wednesday to renovate Bronzeville's Rosenwald Courts apartment building that once housed Nat "King" Cole, Quincy Jones, and Gwendolyn Brooks.
An energetic crowd of thousands of residents, activists, and union members
came together yesterday to call for an increase in the minimum wage, an end to school closures, and other progressive reforms.
Chicago Housing Authority CEO Charles Woodyard has resigned after being in the position for two years. According to WBEZ's Natalie Moore, it's to spend more time with his family.
Thousands of people
marched downtown this weekend, calling on Congress to pass immigration reform and stop deportations.
While the next election is over a year away, Mayor Rahm Emanuel
has already raised over $5 million dollars, including over $1 million last month alone.
As Republican candidates for governor begin to make the rounds, they may even make a stop in Chicago at the
GOP "clubhouse" in Lincoln Park.
Mike Ditka said not running against Barack Obama for the senate -- a race he "probably would have" won -- was
the biggest mistake of his life because he could have kept Obama from becoming president.
Reps. Luis Gutierrez and Jan Schakowsky were
arrested during a protest outside the U.S. Capitol calling on the House to take up immigration reform.
Tickets to live performances in Chicago
could be the most taxed in the country if the City increases taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and other amusements to address a $338.7 million budget shortfall.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle wants
judges to pay the full cost of their health care benefits, instead of the $1 dollar each month they currently pay.
An investigation found that Ald. Ed Burke's work as an attorney won local property owners more than $18.1 million dollars in property tax refunds,
costing the City more than $3.6 million dollars in tax revenue.
Associated Press reports that thousands of civilian military personnel furloughed at Illinois military installations due to last week's government shut down have returned to work on the orders of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Leaders from Chicago's major labor organizations are
planning a "massive" march and rally on October 12 to call for an end to deportations and passage of immigration reform.
Ald. Deborah Graham has
proposed banning BYOB at restaurants within dry precincts, in reaction to a new banquet hall within a dry district in the 29th ward. Graham is the same alderman who helped make it possible for a convicted felon to open a liquor store with TIF money in an area with a moratorium on new liquor license. Ward Room has a good perspective on it.
John Tolva has a plan to put Chicago at the forefront of the tech world. Think broadband in sewer lines, among other things.
Despite a moratorium on new liquor stores in the South Austin neighborhood,
a convicted drug dealer was given special approval -- and TIF money -- to open a new one, the Tribune discovered. Twenty-ninth Ward Ald. Deborah Graham shepherded the arrangement, about six months after receiving a campaign donation from the owner. Smart Chicago's Dan O'Neil adds insight on the data side of the story.
halted the auction of celebrity memorabilia that Jesse Jackson, Jr. bought illegally using campaign funds, saying a Van Halen guitar and other items may actually be fakes.
Chicago is the only one of America's ten largest cities without term limits of any kind,
according to the Illinois Policy Institute.
Citing the "enormity" of running for office, Bill Daley dropped out of the governor's race Monday night.
A few fur coats and framed celebrity pictures that belonged to Jesse and Sandi Jackson will be
auctioned off online tomorrow morning (no word on his $43,000 Rolex).
A group of Australians came to Chicago to try and
stop McDonalds from building a restaurant in their small hometown that borders a national park.
artistmac" Smith attended the opening of the Pullman Wal-Mart opening earlier this week, and noted what a difference six years makes in terms of attitudes toward the big-box store.
Buses will now make a
special stop at the new super Walmart in Pullman, after Mayor Emanuel and Ald. Beale criticized the CTA for not extending service to the store in time for its grand opening.
Local gun owners
no longer need to register their weapons with the city after state law forced the City Council to end Chicago's registry. Guns still need to be registered with the State of Illinois, however.
Recently retired Ald. Dick Mell shared some
classic Chicago political advice during his farewell speech: "Listen, when you're on the telephone, just remember the FBI is on the other line."
Mayor Emanuel was on "
The Late Show with David Letterman" last night, talking about violence in Chicago, being chief of staff, and his thoughts on Syria. If you missed it, here's the full video.
City Council is
set to approve $12.3 million dollars in settlements for two more victims of police torture, bringing the total cost of misdeeds under former CPD commander Jon Burge to nearly $85 million.
The Emanuel administration
canceled privatization plans for Midway Airport after one of two bidders dropped out of the running. The Trib provides a history of the city's first major airport.
Republican gubernatorial candidates are introducing their running mates and political platforms now that they can officially
circulate petitions to get on the ballot in 2014.
CBS 2 is reporting that some corners on
"Safe Passage" routes are not covered by workers and some workers are already quitting. [ via]
Whole Foods is publicly stating what's been known by Englewood organizers for a few months: It will open a store at 63rd and Halsted ... by 2016. For what it's worth, while Whole Foods and the Sun-Times imply Englewood is like the neighborhood where the Detroit location opened, it isn't.
Smokers who flick their cigarette butts out of a car window or otherwise drop them in public can
face a $1,500 fine for littering anywhere in Illinois starting January 1.
In Chicago and cities across the country, employees of McDonald's, Wendy's and other fast food chains
walked off the job today, calling for the right to organize and an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Will Guzzardi announced that he will once again challenge state Rep Toni Berrios. Carolyn O'Donovan wrote about Guzzardi's campaign last election, which was close enough for a recount.
If you're lucky enough to have a space in a yard or a plot in a community garden, you're probably enjoying the bounty of tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers and more that your carefully tended plants are producing. But if you find that you're producing
too much and you can't bear to watch the produce wither in your vegetable bin because going out sounds better than eating more zucchini, consider donating your excess to a local food pantry. Ample Harvest has created a nationwide database of all food pantries willing to take homegrown veggies and there are several in Chicago.
On this historic day, local button makers Busy Beaver Buttons blogged about some historic buttons relating to the civil rights movement.
Economist Dean Baker
questions why Mayor Emanuel and other officials seem unwilling to break contracts made with private companies, like Chicago's parking meter deal, but do approve of forcing changes to pension benefits and other agreements made with workers.
In March of 1963, Malcolm X was
interviewed on WMAQ-TV's "City Desk" program about the "Black Muslim movement." [ via]
Ald. Danny Solis told Pilsen residents Monday that the
Whittier Field House demolition " had to happen" due to the poor condition of the building, while apparently dodging questions about why it had to happen under cover of darkness on a Friday night, with no permits.
Fran Spielman of the Sun-Times reports that Chicago Public Schools officials skipped
applying for a demolition permit to raze the Whittier Field House. The article says an administrative order from the Department of Buildings was issued, allowing for an emergency demolition.
Police and other city agents are currently at Whittier Field House, aka La Casita, preparing it for demolition. Read here for background about the building and the related struggle. UPDATE: The building is still intact, and demolition crews are leaving the area; CPS will meet with area parents tomorrow morning, but it doesn't look good. CPS says the building is unsafe for use and resulted in complaints from community members. UPDATE #2: It's being demolished. UPDATE #3: View additional information, including demolition photographs, in Mechanics.
Gov. Pat Quinn
signed a bill today banning cell phone use in Illinois without a hands-free device. The bill goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2014 and violators can face fines starting at $75.
Amer Ahmed, the former city comptroller who
stepped down in July, was indicted yesterday on federal charges of corruption dating to when he was deputy treasurer and chief financial officer of the state of Ohio.
American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois filed a class action lawsuit today challenging the Chicago Housing Authority's policy of forcing CHA mixed-income housing development residents to be annually drug tested.
Mobile Rail Workers Union at Chicago-based Mobile Rail Solutions has won their National Labor Relations Board election in a 17-5 vote. The employer has 7 days to challenge the results.
The Ladydrawers have begun a yearlong investigation into international women's labor, with a focus on garment work and sex trade, for Truthout.org.
Jesse Jackson, Jr. was
sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to misusing $750,000 in campaign funds. Sandi Jackson received a one-year sentence, which she'll serve after Jesse gets out.
Now that state Rep. Deb Mell has
succeeded her father as 33rd Ward alderman, one of Dick's top aides is replacing Deb in Springfield.
The executive director of the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund tries to
clear up misconceptions about the pension situation at CPS. Short answer: blame state legislators back in 1995.
Over a dozen demonstrators continued a
hunger strike protest outside Northwestern Memorial Hospital today, demanding access to organ transplant procedures for undocumented immigrants.
IL Rep. Monique Davis
appeared on the O'Reilly Factor after saying on a radio show that some of her constituents "suspect that maybe the police are killing some of these kids" while discussing violence in Chicago. Rep. Davis reiterated that those were not her words and then discussed the real cause of urban violence with O'Reilly. [ via]
The CTA seems to have learned its lesson after introducing its
5000 series L cars to widespread complaint and is going to make its next order more "customer-friendly." View the diagram comparing the cars for a quick review of the changes.
Speaking of former mayors, UIC opened its Richard J. Daley Library this week. Like his office on the Fifth Floor, it's accessible by appointment only, but WBEZ's Richard Steele got a tour.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has
killed plans for a county gun court that she'd previously supported, according to Commissioner John Fritchey. Meanwhile, Preckwinkle fired a member of the County ethics board who was pushing for punishment of Assessor Joe Berrios for nepotism.
Sidetrack decided to
stop serving Russian vodka in protest of anti-gay legislation and attacks in that country. Several other bars have followed suit, part of a national trend. The boycott spurred Stolichnaya Vodka's CEO to write an open letter noting the brand's support of the LGBT community.
Democracy at work! Newly retired alderman Richard Mell will be
replaced by his daughter Deborah, effective today.
Ald. Tom Tunney of the 44th Ward reportedly abused power by calling Mark Thomas, owner of The Alley and Taboo Tabou, according to a report from the City Inspector [PDF]. Tunney called Thomas regarding assistant state's attorney Sarah Naughton allegedly biting an employee at Taboo Tabou.
Ald. Joe Moore is being investigated by Chicago's legislative inspector general for allegedly firing a staff member for blowing the whistle on campaign work being done by city employees. [ via]
Would you like to see footage of Rahm Emanuel awkwardly dancing to "Blurred Lines" last week at Robin Thicke's appearance at Taste of Chicago?
At a City Hall news conference, Blaine Elementary Principal
Troy LaRaviere excoriated CPS budget cuts for "turning a full school day into an empty school day."
Attorneys for former governor Rod Blagojevich have
filed an appeal of his 2011 conviction on corruption charges -- just barely under the midnight deadline last night.
Over 200 people
rallied Sunday at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago to protest the acquittal of 28-year-old Florida man George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Jim DeRogatis has chronicled
R.Kelly's career and brushes with the law. He leads a WBEZ investigation of various aspects of the musician's role in pop culture, and whether he should be headlining Pitchfork.
City of Chicago is on RapGenius's News Genius annotation site, thanks to the Smart Chicago Collaborative. TIF Illinois has a good number of documents on there, too.
Governor Quinn announced today that he would issue a line-item veto of a budget bill on his desk to halt Illinois lawmakers' pay, including his own, until they come up with a solution for the state's nearly $100 billion pension crisis.
Mayor Emanuel's office announced a deal with Chicago's energy suppliers that will double the city's wind energy. Integrys Energy Services was chosen to supply 5 percent of consumer electricity, via ComEd, to save money and ease pollution.
The Illinois general assembly and senate
overrode Gov. Quinn's amendatory veto of the concealed carry law, making it officially legal to carry a gun in public. See the Illinois State Police's guidelines on how the law will be enforced.
Longtime alderman and Blago father-in-law Dick Mell
announced today that he will be retiring July 24; insiders speculate that he will get his daughter, state Rep. Deborah Mell, appointed as his replacement.
The CHA has expanded Section 8 housing subsidies over the past decade to house former residents of the projects, but more than half of Section 8 buildings have
failed inspections in the past two years, with slumlords picking up the government check.
Deborah Quazzo is Emanuel's replacement on the CPS board for Penny Pritzker, who was confirmed as the new Secretary of Commerce this week. Whet Moser digs into what Quazzo's appointment means for the future of CPS.
Mayor Emanuel nominated Brenna Berman to be the new
Department of Innovation and Technology commissioner and chief information officer. She has been acting commissioner since Brett Goldstein, the city's first chief data officer, stepped down to take a fellowship at UofC's Harris School of Public Policy.
NPR took a look at the
Chicago Housing Authority's next steps in its transformation of public housing, as laid out in the "Plan Forward," a 33-page "eprint for
the agency's current and future work."
Read the CHA's "Plan Forward" here:
CHA Plan Forward by Gapers Block
City Council is considering whether to
ban plastic bags, per an ordinance introduced by Ald. Joe Mareno.
Conservative blogger Kevin DuJan has
accused a CPS teacher of being a stripper and sometimes porn star who's made racist comments about his students.
Nico Lang at the Daily Dot
points out that DuJan is in a relationship with an ex-employee at Sidetrack who's suing the bar for discriminating against his conservative Christian beliefs. In 2010, Michael Volpe wrote for GB about infighting among the Chicago GOP community, in which Hillbuzz was involved.
Mark Guarino makes the case in Salon that
Mayor Emanuel has lost control of Chicago.
The Sox and Bulls teamed up with
Youth Guidance for an anti-violence campaign based on conversations team representatives are having with teenage boys.
What do the aldermen do? WBEZ's
Curious City finds out it's a lot more than just rubber-stamping the mayor's initiatives.
Bill Daley, Obama's former chief of staff and brother of Richard M., is
considering running for governor.
Academy for Urban School Leadership, a charter school operator, has been picked to turn around six schools, despite 10 out of 12 "turnaround" schools it currently manages not meeting CPS standards. Curtis Black dives into the reasons and politics behind the decision.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez has employed his former chief of staff, now a registered lobbyist, as a contractor to work with his official staff, USA Today reports.
Juan Rangel, CEO of
UNO, announced that he is stepping down from the political organization's board as well as the board of its charter school system in the wake of the recent insider dealing scandal ( previously). He'll remain CEO.
An undercover police officer was discovered to have been
spying on protestors as early as the NATO summits last March, after infiltrating Chicago Action Medical as "Danny Edwards." (Thanks, Arlene!)
Zachary Fardon, a partner with Latham & Watkins, has been nominated for US attorney in the Chicago district, succeeding Patrick Fitzgerald. Fardon is best known for prosecuting ex-Gov. George Ryan.
Joel Handley happened to
run into Mayor Emanuel in the bathroom at a BuildOn fundraiser, and tried to talk to him about schools. It didn't go so well.
voted to close 49 elementary and one high school program today; four elementary schools were spared.
Protestors delivered petitions with 10,000 signatures against the school closings to City Hall and
vowed to "create chaos" if their voices weren't heard -- and began chanting, "Hey Rahm, we're no fools! We won't let you close our schools." Police arrested several protestors who blocked access to elevators.
Video streaming by Ustream
Twenty years later, members of Harold Washington's 1983 mayoral campaign recall
the role race played in the election.
a group of hilarious details from the Navy Pier redevelopment renderings.
We're two years into Rahm Emanuel's tenure as mayor; how's he looked so far? His
approval rating is low and voters on Chicago mag's informal poll give him mostly Ds and Fs, but City Council is still sticking close.
The mayor is touting a
$300 million basketball stadium for DePaul near McCormick Place that would be funded in large part with public money (and which many experts say is a terrible idea). Chicago mag's Whet Moser has done a good job of detailing the questions surrounding the deal and the risks with public funding of stadiums. Meanwhile, the Cubs upped their campaign for Wrigley renovations with a new website.
Dennis Byrne thinks
comparing Obama to Nixon is apt after the AP phone record seizure scandal, the IRS 501(c)(4) scandal and the ongoing Benghazi embassy investigation. WSJ's Stephen Moore makes a similar comparison.
The Chicago Reporter's May/June issue focuses on
fast track deportation: thousands are being deported in Chicago and nationwide without a hearing. Tonight Rep. Luis Gutiérrez will discuss immigration reform legislation at the Reporter's event, Still in the Shadows?
The late Cook County Board President
John Stroger still has supporters, and they're hoping to preserve his legacy through a donation of memorabilia to the DuSable Museum of African American History.
Laurie Jo Reynolds and Stephen F. Eisenman report on the impact of the
Tamms Year Ten project ( previously) and the campaign against the Tamms Supermax Prison, which closed in January. Tamms Year Ten produced many beautiful photographs based on requests from prisoners.
Pat Brady, chairman of the
Illinois Republican Party, is over expected to resigned today his support of gay marriage. Meanwhile, Republican State Rep. Ron Sandack reaffirmed to protestors his intention to vote for the bill legalizing same sex marriage yesterday.
Wondering who gave Rahm Emanuel money last year?
The Trib has a list.
Philanthropist and former School Board member
Penny Pritzker was nominated to be the next Secretary of Commerce today. Greg Hinz passes along some advice from a former cabinet member from another Chicago family dynasty: Bill Daley.
Curious about how the Boston Marathon bombing affected Chicago's emergency preparedness, reporter Howard Wolinsky contact the City. Instead of an interview with the people in charge, he was
offered a video of the mayor.
Former mayor Richard M. Daley is
closing his campaign fund and donating $500,000 to charities, including $150,000 to After School Matters, which was founded by his wife Maggie.
fast food workers are staging a walkout today, led by Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, to call for a $15 minimum wage and the right to unionize. Watch for picket lines in front of various Loop fast food joints.
Sen. Dick Durbin's
Marketplace Fairness Act, requiring online retailers to collect sales tax, will be voted on later this week.
Try your hand at
balancing Illinois' budget with Crain's interactive tool.
The United Neighborhoods Organization has paid the company of an outgoing board member more than $1.8 million in school construction contracts, the Sun-Times reports. It's far from the first time UNO's been caught up in a scandal related to schools or clout.
The City's new garbage collection map greatly simplifies Streets & San's job
and eliminates a vestige of Machine politics going back a hundred years.
The Trib's editorial board coined a new word in relation to the Emanuel administration's refusal to hand documents over to City Hall's inspector general:
Not many people around here are talking about the next mayoral election, but
Hollywood is already fundraising for Rahm. Lynn Sweet has a list of donors.
Citing unresolved building violations, the city is moving to
immediately close Logan Square's Congress Theater. A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow morning in Cook County Circuit Court.
Streetsblog Chicago has created an
"Irreverent Guide" to Chicago planning highlights and lowlights to go along with the Complete Streets Chicago plan released last week.
Prosecutors have been trying to
shut down the heroin highway, and it's been costing millions.
Mayor Emanuel may have an even
stronger rubber stamp City Council than Daley, but Michael Bilandic wielded even more control back in 1977. That didn't stop Jane Byrne from running against him, though.
Robin Kelly won the election for the 2nd congressional district vacated by Jesse Jackson, Jr. Unlike her predecessor -- and her main opponent, Republican ex-con Paul McKinley -- Kelly is scandal-free. So far.
If you're interested in making a difference in the world, hitting the
Global Activism Expo this weekend isn't a bad place to start getting involved.
Senator Mark Kirk released a
statement in favor of same-sex marriage today, making him only the second Republican senator to do so.
The police estimated the crowd for Wednesday's school closure protest at between 700 and 900; the Chicago Teachers Union put the total at between 5,000 and 6,000.
The real number was, of course, right in the middle.
As if owning both a
pro wrestling league and a suburban tea shop weren't weird enough, turns out Billy Corgan is a huge fan of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' InfoWars.
Hundreds of protestors
marched from Daley Plaza to CPS headquarters yesterday to protest the proposed school closings. Police arrested as many as 150 protestors who staged a sit-in in the street.
spotified coverage of the protest, while the Sun-Times live-blogged it.
If you're not able to make it to the Loop to watch the rally against CPS school closures, the
Sun-Times is live-blogging it.
Lifeway Foods CEO Julie Smolyansky has launched Test400k, a nonprofit dedicated to clearing the backlog of untested rape kits sitting in police departments nationwide.
A jury took less than three hours to find Cook County Commissioner William Beavers
guilty of tax evasion today.
Wasn't getting a new mayor and new faces in City Council supposed to change the status quo in Chicago politics? So far,
aldermen are still rubber-stamping for the mayoral machine, reports Steve Rhodes.
76-year-old Ravenswood resident wields his Facebook account and many groups as a means of political involvement.
Lupe Fiasco penned and posted a new song imagining what could have been the life of murdered infant Jonylah Watkins.
Preservation Chicago just published its annual Chicago's 7 list of threatened architecturally significant buildings. Among those included is St. James Church [pdf], one of the buildings featured in To be Demolished. View our Google map of the properties in Mechanics.
Crain's breaks down the neighborhood differences in the rate of "distressed" housing sales throughout the city. The situation improved in 2012, although with an average of 46.7%, nowhere was near perfect. Riverdale had the worst record, 100%, but even Lincoln Park had an 11.3% distressed sales rate.
A new group of reports from the Urban Institute about the CHA's Plan for Transformation describes marginal improvements for housing conditions and some support services but crippling problems. Among them, serious crime, health and social mobility concerns.
Ever wonder how the city reached the number of schools it could close? One big part of it is by
upping the standard elementary class size to 30 students. That number is far higher than the district's average and nearly 10 students higher than the state's average kindergarten class size.
If you're interested in a good laugh,
visit the conservative screed the Washington Times and learn all about how Hugo Chavez turned Venezuala into Chicago. A favorite line: "Venezuela saw rampant poverty, crime, and corruption, although not at the level of Chicago."
Four Chicagoans -- Veronica Arreola, Jarvis Houston, Evanna Hu and Justine Nagan -- are honorees in the New Leaders Council's
40 Under 40 list this year. They'll be honored at a reception this evening. (You might also want to take a look at this year's local NLC Fellows.)
Cardinal George is uncharacteristically publicly addressing sexual abuse and corruption while at the Vatican for the "general congregation."
Michelle Obama came to town last week to promote
Let's Move!, her healthy exercise initiative for children. The plan may be uncontroversial, but a fifth grade teacher says that the local implementation of the event resulted in some unpleasant and unhealthy effects on the kids who participated.
WBEZ marks the steady decline of Chicago's SROs with the likely closure of the Chateau Hotel.
As of today,
Cook County's excise tax on a pack of cigarettes will increase by $1, bringing the total tax on a pack of cigarettes sold in Chicago to $6.67. Here's betting there'll be more false walls in convenience stores.
The U of C's
Cultural Policy Center and the Southside Arts & Humanities Network want to know what you do on the South Side. The survey touches on civic engagement through art, music, work, worship, and research, and should take about 10 minutes.
Robin Kelly won the Democratic primary race to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr. in the 2nd Congressional District. Here's the final tally.
The Trib evaluates how the city and state will be affected by looming sequestration cuts. The White House has its own assessment [PDF].
When Mayor Daley said he had 100-percent confidence in someone, it was often a kiss of death. We'll have to see if
Mayor Emanuel's endorsement of Garry McCarthy will be the same.
special election for the 2nd Congressional District (Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s old district) is today. Voter turnout is expected to be low.
This American Life's second installment of its exploration of youth violence in a Chicago high school is online. If you missed the first part, listen to it here.
How are we going to fix our city budget problems? Apparently, we're going to crowdfund our budget,
like the Windy City Hoops program. There are 54 days and $450,000 to go ... to reach $480,000.
The Washington Post compiled a table showing how the sequester will affect each state. Make sure to select the "Illinois" profile in the drop down menu.
Yet another potential effect of the sequester:
more delays at O'Hare and Midway, says outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
In other student activist news,
Chris Bentley surveys the current divestment campaigns on Chicago-area university campuses.
trouble brewing with the transgender advocacy group the Chicago Gender Society, whose president survived a call for impeachment and subsequently proposed dissolving the group.
Mayor Emanuel's job approval rating is
way down -- just 19 percent of respondents to a Crain's/Ipsos poll think he's doing a good job, vs. 50 percent who disapprove of his performance.
The National Review invokes memories of old Cabrini-Green in its
cover story about Chicago's gang problem in the context of the gun control debate. (Beware, plenty of blatant racism in the comments.)
The St. Louis-based
Preservation Research Office blog uses Chicago's battles over Prentice and Michael Reese to evaluate each city's hospital preservation experiences. The verdict: "Alas, Chicago has done the wrong thing while St. Louis years ago made a wise choice."
By now, it's clear that but Indiana's weak gun laws allow would-be criminals easy ways to circumvent Chicago's tough laws.
The Trib documents how it's done.
The Area," the newest installment of our documentary film series, features Englewood residents who are struggling to maintain friendships and traditions while a freight yard is expanding into their neighborhood.
Mayor Emanuel proposed that City Council approve the sale of 105 city owned properties to the company, Norfolk Southern, [pdf] for an average of just under $10,500 a parcel. While the press release trumpeted the creation of 300 jobs, it did not mention the remaining or displaced residents.
Federal charges were filed today against former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. and his wife, former Ald. Sandi Jackson. Jesse was charged with conspiracy, making false statements, mail and wire fraud in connection with diverting $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use, while Sandi was charged with filing a false tax return. Don't miss the expenses list after the jump, which includes a lot of Michael Jackson memorabilia and even a mink cape.
United States of America vs. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. by Gapers Block
The President is back in town and at
Hyde Park Academy High School, where he will deliver a speech linking inequality and violence.
Chicago gets its own state in Neil Freeman's
Electoral Reform Map, which creates 50 new states of equal population size. Oddly, the collar counties and Milwaukee end up in the state of Gary. [ via]
Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says
she won't run for reelection next year. Meanwhile, Gov. Pat Quinn is trailing Attorney General Lisa Madigan in (really early) polls.
Before giving his State of the Union address, President Obama crossed the aisle to share an
exploding fist bump with Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, who is back in Congress after suffering a major stroke.
Ex-congressman Joe Walsh has asked to
reduce his child-support payment since he's out of a job, the Sun-Times reports. The story, which noted that he caught flack during his reelection campaign for allegedly getting behind on payments, prompted Walsh to threaten to sue the Sun-Times for defamation.
Mayor Emanuel has selected
Natashia Lynnette Holmes, a former IDOT employee and current project manager for a civic policy and planning agency, to be the new 7th Ward alderman, replacing Sandi Jackson. WBEZ has a copy of Holmes' application.
NBC reports that Jesse Jackson, Jr. will sign a plea deal that will include no more than five years in jail on charges of mishandling campaign funds, confirming Michael Sneed's exclusive from yesterday.
Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital
is currently before the city's Commission on Chicago Landmarks. If you're interested in real time updates, you can follow the Save Prentice coalition on twitter and facebook. UPDATE: Prentice no longer has preliminary landmark status, allowing another step towards demolition. Next: another court date.
On Valentine's Day, the Chicago edition of
VDAY's One Billion Rising will hold a rally and dance party to protest violence against women and LGBTQ people. Join in.
Governor Quinn's State of the State speech went as planned today, in which he called for actually dealing with the state's fiscal woes, increasing the minimum wage, legalizing same-sex marriage and controlling guns. Read more from the
Trib, Sun-Times, WBEZ and Chicago Business, or read it yourself.
Rep. Cardiss Collins passed away at age 81. Collins was the first African-American woman to represent Illinois in Congress, taking over in 1973 for her husband George, who died in a plane crash.
There may be
a fix to election law that would avoid situations like Judge Cynthia Brim, who was retained despite years of "unqualified" ratings from legal organizations and being charged with battery on a court security guard. Brim was found not guilty by reason of insanity yesterday.
While most people would tell you that the
impending demolition of a Hyde Park apartment building where Ronald Reagan briefly lived is part of the University of Chicago Medical Center's long-planned expansion, at least one Fox News columnist is doubling down on the theory that it's to make way for an Obama presidential library.
Marktown, the landmark northwest Indiana community surrounded by industry, may be threatened by BP's expansion of its Whiting refinery. See an aerial view of the neighborhood after the jump.
For the last several years, Rep. Mike Quigley has done "
Undercover Congressman" days at businesses within his district. This Tuesday, he stopped by Dinkel's to help assemble some pastries.
Former governor George Ryan will serve out the remainder of his prison sentence from his
home in Kankakee instead of the West Side halfway house that has housed a few of his former colleagues after they were sprung from the joint.
Four protestors were arrested following a sit-in at University of Chicago Medical Center this weekend intended to draw attention to the lack of trauma centers on the South Side. A Change.org petition has been created in response to the rather physical arrests by campus police, and the protest group involved has released a statement.
Commission on Chicago Landmarks has taken the unusual step of adding the old Prentice Women's Hospital to its February 7 agenda [pdf]. As scheduled, it will receive a revised report regarding economic issues and then consider the decision to reject its preliminary landmark recommendation. The Trib has some background.
If Bill Daley and Lisa Madigan go head to head in a race for governor, it'll pit the city and state's
biggest political families against each other.
Ward redistricting doesn't go into effect until 2015, but Ald. Danny Solis announced yesterday that he's going to
start following the new 25th Ward boundaries right now. Other aldermen are doing their best to represent their old constituents as well as the new.
A member of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications was paid more than
$91,000 in overtime -- more than doubling her pay in 2012. RedEye has a top 10 of overtime earners.
The Reader's Ben Joravsky examines how the Emanuel administration is determining
which schools to close.
Newt Gingrich suggested on CNN's "
State of the Union" that hearings on gun control legislation should be held in Chicago.
Artist Jeremy Tubbs created
, a time-lapse video of more than 2,500 photos of President Obama over the past five years. Tubbs is also selling Presidial lenticular images on Etsy.
Presidial is not political art," says Tubbs. "It is an artwork about the incessant media coverage of politics."
CBS2 Chicago reports that Ald. Willie Cochran has suggested using
GPS devices on all guns. "Just like if your car gets stolen, OnStar can tell you where your car is. If your gun gets stolen, and you report it, we should be able to find that gun."
The Heartland Alliance's
Illinois Poverty Report estimates that about one in three Illinoisans is in poverty or close to it, and Cook County is one of the worst hit.
It doesn't look like there will be officially recognized camping in Chicago for the foreseeable future, but
the Forest Preserve plans to make camping viable in the county by 2014. Read the full plan here [PDF].
In an effort to help return vacant and abandoned properties to productive use, the Cook County Board
unanimously approved an ordinance to create the Cook County Land Bank Authority today.
Commissioner Bridget Gainer gives us the details
While we won't celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day until Monday, today is his birthday. The
Neighborhood Writing Alliance posted in his honor the remembrances of K.C. Hagans from the fifth anniversary of King's death.
Lathrop Community Partners, the organization coordinating community input for the redevelopment of Lathrop Homes, just released its summary of public input [PDF]. Among expressed opinions were a concern about the mixed-income character of the development, as well as preferences for reusing a "critical mass" of the existing buildings, maintaining a low-rise site and establishing high public transportation connectivity.
criticisms that she has been neglecting the duties of her alderman position (as well as the stress of her husband's recent woes), Sandi Jackson resigned today, effective Jan. 15. Jackson was elected alderman of the city's 7th Ward in 2007.
Ald. Sandi Jackson's Resignation Letter by Gapers Block
State Rep. Kelly Cassidy has a bit more incentive to make same sex marriage a reality in the new congressional session: she just got engaged.
Several news outlets reported that
Ald. Dick Mell would soon retire and hand his seat to his daughter, Deb Mell. However, the city's longest-serving alderman denied the rumor, saying he was no closer to retiring than he was five years ago.
The NY Times
takes a look at Chicago's 2012 murders and breaks down the demographic differences between those near and far from homicides.
Sen. Mark Kirk will
return to the Senate today, for the first time since his stroke last January. "I have missed my colleagues in the Senate in the worst way," he told Greg Hinz.
threw his support behind the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act," aimed at legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois. The bill, which was introduced by Chicago's state Sen. Heather Stearns and Rep. Greg Harris, could be voted on as soon as next week.
Well, not just him. The Reader's second annual
Political Achievement Awards skewer many more local pols.
reported yesterday on the effort to bring Obama's presidential library to the site of the former Michael Reese Hospital in Bronzeville.
Mayor Emanuel announced
new plans to privatize Midway Airport -- with significant differences from Daley's plan, but still another example of the city selling itself off piece by piece.
Jon Lowenstein's photographs of South Side immigrant families were the launching point for a new series about Latin American immigration featured today on the NY Times' photography blog.
A new set of
CTA bus ads by Council on American-Islamic Relationsaims to promote a more positive interpretation of "jihad," the Arabic word that means "struggling in the way of God," not just holy war.( Previously.)
What are the real costs of the advertising deals, privatization plans and outright sell-offs the City has made for public properties?
After being embarrassed by
a "60 Minutes" segment about Chicago's history of false confessions, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez fired back, sending a letter to CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager calling the segment "one-sided and extremely misleading."
Letter from Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to CBS's "60 Minutes"
The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals
struck down Illinois' concealed carry law as unconstitutional yesterday, potentially paving the way for another attempt to pass legislation allowing it. Illinois is the last state in the union where concealed carry of any sort is illegal.
Sen. Mark Kirk will
return to the Senate on Jan. 3.
Mayor Emanuel is
renovating City Hall and consolidating department offices, which means a lot of shuffling of desks.
The special election for Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s 2nd Congressional District seat will be
held April 9.
The special election for Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s vacated congressional seat has been
tentatively set for March 19, with a primary on Feb. 26 -- unless Gov. Quinn can convince lawmakers to let him move it to April 9 to coincide with local municipal elections. Already, the list of candidates is lengthening.
Former House member and State Senator
Debbie Halvorson, who lost to Jesse Jackson Jr. in the March primary election, announced that she plans to run for the seat he resigned last week. Among her potential fellow candidates are former Blago attorney Sam Adam, Jr., Todd Stroger, and pastor Corey Brooks.
The ACLU of Illinois is holding an
interactive conference on civil liberties and human rights this Saturday, featuring "Daily Show" correspondent Aasif Mandvi; there's still time to register.
The Sun-Times reports that Todd Stroger is
weighing a bid for resigning Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s seat, which will be filled via a special election.
According to Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s brother
Jonathan, the congressman will announce his resignation today. UPDATE: Jackson has resigned.
This week marks 25 years since Mayor Harold Washington's death in office. The Sun-Times offers
a timeline of his ascent to mayor.
Gov. Pat Quinn
launched a new website explaining the importance of pension reform. It features a quick video and an oddly childlike aesthetic.
Behind the scenes here in Chicago, a team of hackers led by former Threadless CTO Harper Reed were ensuring President Obama got reelected.
Ars Technica and the Atlantic have excellent profiles of how it all worked, while Crain's talked with Reed to find out what's next. (The technology behind the Romney campaign didn't fare nearly as well.)
Ten CTA buses are
carrying controversial ads calling on American's to "Support Copts. Defeat Jihad." The ads are from the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an organization labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and appear in New York, DC and elsewhere.
America is not red states and blue states, just purple ones.
A new map showing voting patterns in the 2012 presidential election with greater granularity than ever before demonstrates just how true that is.
Here's a closeup view of Chicagoland.
Chicago magazine interviews statistician of the hour
Mayor Emanuel says
legalizing gay marriage is his #3 priority in Springfield legislation, behind pension reform and a casino, and he plans to be "very involved" in the fight to pass it.
Institute for Justice, an anti-regulation voice in the Chicago food truck battle, and owners from Schnitzel King and Cupcakes for Courage filed a lawsuit against the city today. Read the Institute for Justice's press release or watch their video (below) for their pitch.
Local computer forensics company Forensicon
discovered a security breach on ChicagoElections.com that allowed basic personal information of 1.7 million voters -- and much more detail for 1,200 job applicants -- to be accessed online.
Cook County judge Susan McDunn, whose 20-year career took a major turn when she recently
claimed to be the target of "secret" legal cases that were "ruining her life," voluntarily resigned last week. McDunn received complaints for misconduct in handling adoptions by gay couples in the late 90s.
The Sun-Times reports that CeaseFire, now known as
Cure Violence, has had " no significant success stories" in the three months since being given $1 million by the City to help curb gang violence.
Gapers Block has covered CeaseFire extensively over the years, both
positively and more skeptically. Most recently, Jason Prechtel questioned the decision by Vice magazine to run a documentary about CeaseFire as part of a marketing campaign for a revenge-themed video game; Vice has since removed the documentary from the marketing campaign site.
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. has
left the Mayo Clinic as rumors swirl that he'll resign as part of a deal regarding the federal investigation into possible misuse of campaign funds. Meanwhile, the WSJ reports that the investigation has expanded to include Ald. Sandi Jackson, his wife and campaign manager.
Among the buildings recently added to GB's
To be Demolished project are a heliport, a meat packing building and a building whose owner seems to have been embroiled in a fast food feud.
Crain's reports that Governor Pat Quinn wants the state to fix their pension problems by
The City of Chicago is likely to benefit greatly from Obama's second term in office. According to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the president has promised to
invest in the education and infrastructure of his hometown.
If you forgot to pick up a newspaper on Wednesday morning, the Reader has you covered with a souvenir cover and
stories from election night around the city.
Also, Simon Edelman shot a
great video from a unique perspective at the Obama election night party.
If there were irregularities (or downright violations) at your polling place,
WBEZ wants to hear about it.
Michael Sneed reports that Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. is "in the midst of plea discussions with the feds probing his alleged misuse of campaign funds."
A picture from the infamous Obama
Election Day Basketball Game shows how the President and former state treasurer and senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias have changed since their last meeting at the hoops.
Nearly a million Chicagoans came out to vote in the election yesterday, and 84 percent of them voted for President Obama, according to
unofficial results from the Chicago Board of Elections.
As you can see below, 2nd Congressional District residents voted for Jesse Jackson, Jr. by nearly the same high margin.
Chicago Unofficial Summary Report - General Election Nov. 6, 2012
woman in labor made a pit stop to vote while on the way to the hospital this morning.
As it turns out, snapping a quick photo of your ballot is
illegal in many states, including Illinois.
UPDATE: Actually, the rules are a little fuzzy. As Gizmodo points out, there's nothing in Illinois law explicitly forbidding photographing your own ballot. However, it is illegal to photograph other citizens voting. Here's "10 ILCS 5/29-9," the section of election code that might be at issue:
Sec. 29-9. Unlawful observation of voting. Except as permitted by this Code, any person who knowingly marks his ballot or casts his vote on a voting machine or voting device so that it can be observed by another person, and any person who knowingly observes another person lawfully marking a ballot or lawfully casting his vote on a voting machine or voting device, shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.
Crain's Chicago Business got hold of Steve Sandvoss, an election specialist with the Illinois State Board of Elections, who said that section 5/29-9 "could be interpreted to prohibit a voter from photographing his or her ballot and then posting the photograph. Whether or not facts exists establishing such a violation would be up to a prosecutor's office."
Mr. Sandvoss also noted that "there is no per se prohibition on bringing a cellphone or camera into the polling place." But, "if the election judges determine that using either one is disruptive of the voting process, or is otherwise a violation of one or more election laws, they are empowered in my opinion to instruct the person to refrain from using it."
So there you have it. Possibly illegal, definitely not something to make a big deal out of doing while you're in the polling place. And don't even think about photographing someone else's ballot.
UPDATE 2: Ken Menzel, deputy general counsel for the Illinois State Board of Elections, was much less ambiguous when he discussed the issue with the Tribune. Illinois election code prohibits voting in a way that can be observed by others, and posting photos of completed ballots on social media obviously violates that code. The law was meant to discourage vote-buying ("Having a picture of the ballot is an important cog in vote-buying schemes. The buyers want to know they got what they paid for," Menzel told the Tribune) and makes it a Class 4 felony with a one- to three-year prison sentence and a maximum $25,000 fine.
In case you're still undecided this morning, here's one last endorsement:
Jay Cutler is voting for Mitt Romney.
Chicago Elections website is down right now; however, you can find your polling location elsewhere in the interim.
Center Square Journal's Mike Fourcher wrote a column giving reasons why voting yes on the referendum on elected school boards is
a bad idea. GB's own Ramsin Canon argues that it's a good one.
Illinoisians have become heavily involved in Obama for America efforts, and since the president's home state is solidly behind him, volunteers have concentrated on neighboring swing states. The most
recent increase in OFA volunteers is likely due to the campaign's promise to provide volunteers with tickets to his Election Night Party at McCormick Place tomorrow evening.
Now that you know
where your polling place is and who's endorsed who, here are some handy resources for to have in your pocket tomorrow.
ChicagoBallot.com is a web app that acts as a palm card on your smartphone, listing your choices for national, state and local votes.
Chicago Tribune Ballot Builder serves a similar purpose, although it doesn't show judge evaluation data; ChicagoBallot does.
MobileJudges.com is just for the judge retention portion of the ballot. It's built with data from Vote For Judges, which collects judge evaluations from the Illinois Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Chicago Tribune.
The Chicago Bar Association has
its own mobile guide as well.
If you want to get feedback on
who to vote for tomorrow, here's some help: the Tribune, Independent Voters of Illinois, Vote for Judges, the Chicago Bar Association, the Chicago Council of Lawyers ( pdf), the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Chicago Citizen, and the Daily Herald. Happy voting! Polls are open from 6am-7pm.
In preparation for tomorrow, make sure
you know where to head -- some precincts and polling locations have changed since the last election.
Sen. Mark Kirk participated in the SkyRise Chicago stair climb on Sunday, which benefited the Rehab Institute of Chicago, where he continues to recover from his stroke.
After climbing 37 stories with the aid of a brace on his left leg, Sen. Kirk
gave an interview to NBC5's Mary Ann Ahern.
Dan Sinker: "This election cycle, there's only one metric I care about:
DoesAxelrodStillHaveHisMustache.com." Mayor Emanuel: " !"
Hailo today officially joins Uber and other services that help you find a taxi in Chicago. Meanwhile, Uber is fighting legislation that could kill its car service business.
If you have a smartphone,
ChicagoBallot.com helps you figure out who you're voting for in advance and provides a convenient reminder when you get to the polls -- especially for those easy-to-forget bottom of the ballot names and issues.
Sixty students from the Chicago-area headed to Wisconsin today to take part in the Mikva Challenge, a non-partisan organization, "Elections in Action" program. The students will spend the weekend learning about and taking part in the presidential campaigns.
stopped back into town yesterday to become the first sitting president to vote early in person.
The Reader talks with five Chicagoans about
how they're feeling about Obama as the nation returns to the polls.
Tracy Swartz talks to people about how to handle
a mixed party relationship.
If you know you won't be in town for the all-important Nov. 6 election, you can
take advantage of early voting beginning this Monday; locations are open 9am-5pm, Monday through Saturday through Nov. 3.
After spending the day criss-crossing the country, President Obama will
hold his election-night rally at McCormick Place Nov. 6.
Chicagoist reports that a rogue ironworker briefly hung a Mitt Romney flag on top of the Willis Tower antenna. Politics aside, the corresponding video
will likely give you vertigo.
Paul Rusesabagina, activist and subject of the film
Hotel Rwanda, does a Q&A with WBEZ's Jerome McDonnell about the Rwandan genocide and The Book Thief, this fall's One Book, One Chicago reading selection, tonight at the Harold Washington Library.
reports that Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. was spotted at two bars in Washington D.C. with different women last week. Jackson was released last month following a long stay at the Mayo Clinic for bipolar disorder treatment, and he has not yet returned to work.
Wanna see what the 1864 Lincoln/Johnson re-election campaign looks like with an Obama/Biden branding?
Steve Bogira penned
a satirical plan for Mayor Emanuel to pay a neighborhood $10,000 to diversify itself.
State Rep. Derrick Smith put the Illinois Democratic Party in a really awkward place. Ben Joravsky tries to explain
how it happened.
Today is your last day to
register to vote in the November elections. Get on that.
Joe Walsh, the Tea Party congressman who wears his anger on his sleeve.
There was apparently a little money left over from hosting the NATO Summit, so the City is
giving it to the Park District to improve neighborhood parks.
This coming Tuesday is the deadline to register to vote or to change your registration address.
Gawker makes a
stop in Chicago as part of its investigative series to determine the country's most racist city.
The Sun-Times' columnists -- Mark Brown, Roger Ebert, Steve Huntley, Carol Marin, Mary Mitchell, Richard Roeper and Neil Steinberg --
live-tweeting the debates tonight. (A couple of them have already started, actually.) Should be at least a little more focused than the #Debate hashtag stream [ via]
Have you registered to vote yet? The deadline is October 9, and there's a wealth of information on the
Chicago Board of Elections website--including information on voting early, should you be busy on November 6.
Thomas Donnelly ruled the mass arrests of Occupy Chicago protesters to be unconstitutional in a 37-page ruling today. The charges following the arrests of 92 protesters for violating curfew in Grant Park were thrown out.
If you were excited about Chick-fil-A's recent
decision to stop funding anti-gay organizations in response to Alderman Proco Joe Moreno's opposition to their plans to build a second restaurant in his ward, you might want to reconsider; Chick-fil-A owner Dan Cathy tweeted a pic of a fundraiser held yesterday for an anti-gay lobbying group, and encouraged his audience to give directly to the group rather than go through Chick-fil-A's philanthropy arm, the WinShape Foundation. So the money may not be coming directly from Chick-fil-A, but the sentiment is?
Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno
acquiesced on his opposition to Chik-fil-A building a branch in Logan Square after the chain agreed to stop funding anti-gay organizations and issued a company mandate supporting equality regardless of sexual orientation.
The Chicago Teachers Union voted today to
end their seven day-long strike.
Max Rice, a Columbia College student posing as a former Obama supporter,
managed to get an awkward, unfunny on-air interview with Gretchen Carlson from Fox News on Monday morning. Carlson cut Rice off after realizing that Rice "wasn't ready for prime time."
Forty-five theater companies around the country (and possibly more to come) will mount the Neo-Futurists'
44 Plays for 44 Presidents as part of the Plays for Presidents Festival. The performances will be compiled into a video that will debut about a week before the election.
The tentative agreement that would have ended the weeklong CPS strike was not reached; expect teachers
back at the picket line tomorrow, with the possibility that students could return to the classroom by Wednesday. Update: A CPS attempt to block to the strike today failed.
The ACLU is
suing the state over the poor conditions in juvenile prisons, WBEZ reports. Read more in BEZ's " Inside and Out" series.
Deanna Moffitt spoke with HuffPo about stock footage of her face being used in a television ad created by conservative PAC American Crossroads.
Public Enemy founder Chuck D will be in town tonight with the
Rap Sessions tour for a panel discussion about hip-hop, politics and the upcoming election. The talk, "Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama / Tea Party Era," is free and open to the public. Check out Slowdown for more details.
In the most important press clarification of the year, Mayor Emanuel's Press Secretary Tarrah Cooper proclaimed that the mayor
does not like Nickelback. Sorry, guys. (No word yet on Creed.)
The Teacher's Strike has taken a much-needed
Speaking of CeaseFire, the organization is cosponsoring a forum on community violence tonight at the Chicago Urban League at 6pm. Details in Slowdown.
The CTU strike is all over the national news, with coverage from
The NY Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, CNN, NBC News, Reuters, and pretty much everyone else. Back in Chicago, a demonstrator had some disappointing news about the mayor.
We have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike." CPS is implementing its " Children First Plan," in which 144 schools will provide supervision for part of the day, and many churches, community organizations, parks and libraries will provide activities and "safe havens" for students. Additional details about the conflict are available in the CTU statement and CPS statement.
contributor Ted McClelland explains why the national political conventions don't come to Chicago anymore.
John Cusack talks with constitutional law professor
Jonathan Turley about "death panels" and other constitutional sins of the Obama administration.
Chicago Film Archives put together a collection of newsreel footage from the 1960 Republican National Convention, which was held in Chicago. There's no sound for most of it, but that's kind of a nice change compared to today's "wall-to-wall" coverage.
The Daily Beast looks at how Obama's approach to Chicago (and similar city) votes
differs from the Democrats of yesterday.
Emanuel and McCarthy's anti-violence strategy gets
poor reviews from residents of the neighborhoods that are affected, where they're calling for even more of a police presence. Meanwhile, 50 officers were sent to the Democratic National Convention.
The main theme that hovers around the presidency of Barack Obama is race. Is America
still uncomfortable with the ethnic background of the sitting president?
First Lady Michelle Obama is currently on the cover of a Spanish magazine called
Fuera de Serie. The article is called "Michelle Tataranieta De Esclava, Dueña De América" (Michelle Granddaughter of a Slave, Lady of America), and features a portrait that superimposes the her head onto the body of an African Guadeloupean female slave painted by French artist Marie-Guilhelmine Benoist in 1800.Of course, people in the states are outraged.
President Obama got on Reddit yesterday for an AMA (ask me anything) session. It swiftly reduced Reddit's servers to a pile of rubble, but in the meantime Obama answered plenty of pretty bland questions.
Kyle Kramer is covering the Republican National Convention for VICE magazine, and was
barred from entering a blogger party Sunday because of his tumblr.
Columbia College Chicago has just compiled a booklet out of letters from 22 students about their fears of
violence in Chicago.
This past Thursday, a
group of women from Chicago began driving to the office of Missouri politician Todd Akin to deliver some helpful information to the guy who took it upon himself to define "legitimate" rape. They're turning it into a listening tour of sorts; you can follow their travels online.
Now that the elections are heating up,
Mother Jones is featuring Tammy Duckworth in its current issue. It notes that her " alive day" anniversary is just a few days after the election.
Jacquelyn Heard describes her experience serving as
Mayor Daley's press secretary for 14 years.
The University of Chicago department of admissions did
a nice riff on Carly Rae Jepsen's ubiquitous hit song. Not nearly as over the top as the Chicago Young Republicans' take.
Check out the
new ward maps that will go into effect following the November 6 election. By the way, do you need to register to vote or change your address with the Board of Elections?
In Mechanics, Jason Prechtel gives an in-depth
overview of the battle between parishioners, preservationists and Alderman Colón over the future of St. Sylvester's rectory on Palmer Square. Meanwhile, Ben Joravsky reports in the Reader on another political preservation fight.
The latest on Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s health condition: The Mayo Clinic announced that he's being
treated for bi-polar disorder.
Two Navy vessels will be joined by the Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy docking at Navy Pier as part of Navy Week. They're on the first scheduled Naval cruise of Lake Michigan since 1999.
The president and first lady will be in Chicago this weekend to
raise a bunch of campaign funds; three of the four fundraisers are birthday themed.
Illinois Family Institute is recommending parents pull their children from classrooms led by gay or LGBT-friendly teachers.
ChallengeTeachers, Not Books
The Pritzkers' Hyatt Hotels Corp. is receiving a $5.2 million TIF as part of the
Harper Court redevelopment project on 53rd Street. The seven schools surrounding the TIF district are losing $3.4 million from their budgets -- which happens to be the about the amount that CPS loses in property taxes because of the TIF. Meanwhile, Penny Pritzker serves on the CPS board. Curtis Black explains.
Mitt Romney is
in Chicago today. If you want to catch a glimpse, he's got lunch fundraising stops at Harry Caray's and Maggiano's in River North.
A joint Tribune and Medill Watchdog investigation exposes the extraordinary level of control and corruption of
Rosemont's ruling Stephens family.
Ald. Sandi Jackson shared
details of her husband's collapse and hospitalization with the Sun-Times' Michael Sneed. She said it was due to debilitating depression, possibly brought on by a recent gastric bypass surgery, exacerbated by an overloaded work schedule.
Sen. Mark Kirk continues to make progress recovering from his stroke, and
recently met with colleagues, but he's not yet ready to do fundraisers.
Chik-Fil-A Appreciation Day (also Chik-Fil-Gay Appreciation Day), and the Chicago Republican Party is celebrating by holding a press conference at City Hall announcing the filing of civil rights complaints over Ald. Moreno and Mayor Emanuel's comments about the chain's opposition gay marriage. (On that note, read Ramsin Canon's thoughts on the matter.)
Sixteenth Ward Alderman Joann Thompson
was hospitalized after collapsing at an Englewood music festival on Sunday.
Jason Prechtel already had
some reservations about the draft Chicago Cultural Plan. Participating in one of this week's town hall meetings didn't make him feel any better.
Two Chicago folks want to build some whimsy and expectation for the upcoming election by producing the
Election Day Advent Calendar. You can support them on Kickstarter. (See other local projects on our curated page.)
The food truck ordinance was passed by City Council today, just after the lunch hour. In Drive-Thru, Robyn Nisi explains why this might spell the end of the fledgling food truck industry.
The Romney campaign has decided to
make Chicago a critique of President Obama, but NBC5 and The Daily Beast aren't having any of it.
Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts was
on "Eight Forty-Eight" this morning to talk about LPAC, the political action committee focused on lesbian issues that she helped launch this week.
Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson revealed a number of cases of
fraud, graft and other corruption in his quarterly report, delivered yesterday. Download it here.
Q2 2012 Complete Report Final
Corey Brooks has been walking across the country ( previously) to raise money to build a community center on the site of the seedy motel he helped get demolished. He stopped here at home this weekend, halfway through his journey.
The Chicago Police Department pays
$18 million a year in disability payments -- including quite a bit to people injured years ago who have gone on to work other jobs.
Mayor Emanuel, Obama's former chief of staff,
weighed in on the Mitt Romney-Bain Capital story this weekend: "Stop whining," he said on ABC's "This Week." "If you want to claim Bain Capital as your calling card to the White House, then defend what happened at Bain Capital."
So either Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. is in
rehab for alcoholism in a facility in Arizona, or he's being treated for a mood disorder. Whichever it is, Jackson's ongoing, unexplained medical leave is no longer just a local story.
Illustrator and comic artist Luke Radl created
a cartoon of his visit to Chicago for the NATO Summit protests last month, augmented with audio, video and photos.
Police Chief Garry McCarthy is "
under the gun" to reduce homicides. Chicago magazine profiles the man and the mission.
"I've become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy," said Federal Appellate Court Judge and UofC Professor Richard Posner in
an interview on NPR last week. He also thinks the patent system has gotten out of sync with modern business, particularly regarding technology.
John Greenfield and Andrew Bayley (
previously) biked the perimeter of newly redrawn 1st Ward, highlighting the tortuous shape it's been twisted into in the name of political gerrymandering.
Congressman Joe Walsh
criticized his opponent Tammy Duckworth on CNN yesterday, stating that "all she does is talk about her military service."
Today on Cartoon Movement, Luke Radl has posted
"My Kind of Town", a multimedia comic depicting the NATO protests from May.
Ambrosio Medrano and former Cook County Commissioner Joseph Mario Moreno were arrested today on corruption charges.
WBEZ does a roundup of some of the media outlets who had a hard time reporting on today's health care decision.
Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. has been
on medical leave for two weeks, but only announced it on Monday and nobody outside his inner circle is quite sure where he is. His wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson, isn't telling.
passed the ordinance making possession of 15g or less of marijuana a ticketable offense. Potheads can expect to pay $250 for the privilege of not taking a trip to the slammer.
four books to help you understand Chicago politics.
Newcity's David Witter provides a contemporary treatment of Uptown's Appalachian influences and history. For further reading, view Whet Moser's January post about the history of Appalachian migration to Chicago.
new Brookings Institution report identifies Chicago as one of 10 US cities that account for 51% of all naturalized citizens. The report details that Chicago's population is 4% naturalized citizens and has a balance between high and low skilled labor characteristics.
Recently, a local activist posted an impassioned
call to action recalling an incident at Lincoln Hall a few weeks ago. Her story is one of misunderstanding, judgment, fear and the lines that we all try so desperately to tow.
Agree with her or not, she represents the marginalization of our fair city and no matter how comfortable we may become in our isolated spaces created by the
quiet segregation of the past several decades, we are all a part of the city at-large and perhaps the real point of her experience--and all those she represents--is that discrimination is a default reaction to so many of our interactions with strangers. We've all seen it, someone being accused of being a bigot and someone else defensively standing their open-minded ground. Chicago is better than its racist roots. But where does the real change begin? The Internet isn't small enough to hold everything we should be saying to each other.
President Obama issued an executive order
halting deportation and grant work permits illegal immigrants who arrived in the US before they were 16 and who have no criminal history, among other criteria.
Tomorrow, the Zoning Board of Appeals will meet to decide if the
Portage Theater ( previously covered by Gapers Block) will be converted into a church, consequently ending all film programming and inhibiting economic growth in the neighborhood. Supporters are encouraged to attend the meeting at 9 a.m., at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, in the City Council Chambers on the 2nd floor. Find more information here, here, and at Alderman John Arena's site.
The Chicago Fire's stadium in Bridgeview has
crippled the suburb with debt, and homeowners have born the brunt while the town's political machine made out, the Tribune reports.
Musician Joe Walsh won't be endorsing Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh to represent Illinois' 8th Congressional district in this year's election.
He's backing Walsh's Democrat opponent, Tammy Duckworth, instead.
Chicago may be losing ground, but Mayor Emanuel's trying to shore up the city with the help of
a non-profit board that'll seek private investors for public works projects.
Even though the term "
food desert" has been the subject of some debate lately, the City Council's decision to allow mobile produce trucks has got to be good for folks who don't have easy access to grocery stores -- or who just want a really, really ripe peach.
You can follow
rooftop Pastor Corey Brooks' new cross-country walk "to end violence" on the project's website, as well as in more immediate words and photographs.
Jill Stein, a Massachusetts physician who was born in Chicago, has clinched the Green Party presidential nomination.
Most people have no idea how
tax increment financing works, so the City made a video trying to explain it. Ben Joravsky has a lot of fun ripping it apart.
Wrigley Building is now an official Chicago landmark. For some reason, the building owners are going to celebrate by pointing blue lights at it for the next few months.
Lakeview Pantry's 50-year-old executive director will be hoofing it 50 miles -- from Kenosha to Chicago -- to raise money for the nonprofit organization. Every dollar donated buys 10 pounds of food, so skipping that one iced latte would make a 45.2-pound difference to someone in need.
ACLU of Illinois and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit against the state of Illinois and Cook County Clerk David Orr yesterday on behalf of 25 same-sex couples, claiming the state's civil union law violates the Illinois Constitution's guarantee of equal protection and due process. Learn more about it here.
DC and Louisiana are ahead of Illinois in terms of
political corruption convictions per capita, but the US district of Chicago makes up 84 percent of the state's convictions.
The senator's ex-wife Kimberly Vertolli has filed an FEC complaint
alleging that the campaign intentionally hid over $140k in payments to Kirk's ex-girlfriend for public relations work.
The Fraternal Order of Police has filed several grievances against the City in connection to the NATO Summit -- the latest being that officers aren't receiving overtime pay for their extra service.
The City has paid more than
$63 million in legal fees for police misconduct cases since 2003, the Chicago Reporter has discovered.
From April 29 to May 29, activists and community members are participating in
, an exhibit commenting on the imprisonment of Puerto Rican political prisoner 31 Days for 31 Years Oscar López Rivera.
President Obama took some time to
throw around ye olde pigskin in on Sunday evening. Soldier NATO Field
Wondering what they're up to over there? Here's the
NATO Summit schedule.
Not surprisingly, Joe Ricketts' planned ad campaign against Obama (
previously) pissed off Mayor Emanuel, putting the Rickettses' request for public funding of a Wrigley remodel on shaky footing. Joe Ricketts' Super PAC issued a statement that the campaign was just a proposal, and his kids spent yesterday doing damage control.
Northwestern's alumni magazine has a
long profile of Rahm Emanuel from childhood to first term as mayor -- along with a fun analysis of his rhetorical toolbox. [ via]
Joe Ricketts, the head of the family who owns the Cubs, is
preparing a major campaign to "defeat Barack Hussein Obama." The NY Times reports that one option is a $10 million racialization of the presidential race by reinserting Rev. Jeremiah Wright and others to influence voters who "still aren't ready to hate this president."
What's a protest without Noam Chomsky? The veteran activist talks about the
history of NATO and the protests in Chicago in a new video. [ via]
The Guardian reports that Chicago police will have a new weapon to combat NATO protesters: the long range acoustic device, or LRAD, which can emit a high-pitched "deterrent tone" that is painful and potentially harmful to human ears. (h/t Dee)
The NATO Summit isn't till the weekend, but the action starts today.
NATOprotest.org has a list of all the week's activities.
threatened to pull the permit for a May 18 NATO protest by National Nurses United, after musician Tom Morello was added to the rally. The protest may continue if it's moved to the Petrillo Band Shell instead of Daley Plaza; Morello, who was born in Libertyville, said "Mayor Emanuel is afraid of me, afraid of nurses and afraid of the truth."
President Obama affirmed today that he
supports same-sex marriage, after years of wobbling back and forth on the issue. The Guardian made a great infographic of what rights each state affords gay, lesbian and transgender residents.
There are lots of rankings of cities' global influence, and Chicago is always near the top. A new study from the
McKinsey Global Institute takes all the other ones and totals them up for an aggregate rating. Chicago still looks good.
Christopher Drew passed away on Monday after a battle with lung cancer. His last post on his blog April 1 questioned what was next after the state legislature failed to change the eavesdropping law that he'd protested for years, ultimately leading to his arrest in 2009. The felony charge against him was thrown out in March, but unfortunately, he didn't live to see the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago declared the law unconstitutional yesterday. He'll be missed.
Decision of Seventh Circuit US Court of Appeals in American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois vs. Anita Alv...
44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney's
not too happy with the mayor's proposal to renovate and revitalize Wrigley Field.
Jay Doherty, president of the
City Club of Chicago, is under investigation for allegedly using the club to help clients of his lobbying firm, Chicago magazine reports.
A new Tribune investigative series looks at
toxic products in our homes and the campaigns tobacco and chemical manufacturers waged to get them there. First up is flame retardants; more coming all week.
The BGA wonders
why there's a policeman assigned to patrol the Merchandise Mart while the CPD is understaffed and dealing with rising crime rates.
Better Boys Foundation, a North Lawndale community organization that provides kids with after-school and summer programming, is looking for -- among other things -- knitting instructors, bike mechanics, gardeners, dance teachers and playground monitors. (Thanks, The Needle Shop!)
Crain's focuses in on
Rahm's first year with a special section.
How has Mayor Emanuel done on his campaign promises? Rate him yourself on
Tabs On Rahm, a site by Chirag Patel and Matt Danzico, the guys behind the similar Tabs on Obama.
approved the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, Mayor Emanuel's plan to garner private funds for public works projects. Read Ramsin Canon's piece on the Trust, and his latest thoughts now that it's passed, in Mechanics.
The Trib's Rex Huppke
eulogizes Facts, which apparently are no longer with us.
CPS teachers are seeking state support to increase The Chicago Teachers Pension Fund (CTPF), which is currently underfunded by millions of dollars. Senate Bill 3628 would allow $270 million to flow into the CTPF but, after that, state contributions would fall to ten percent of what it provides to the Teachers Retirement Fund, which is for teachers outside of Chicago. If the bill were to pass the senate it would still need to find support in the Illinois House. Controversial spending by the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) of Illinois adds an element of question to the debate.
After much debate, the City Council
passed the Child Safety Zone Ordinance, aka the speed camera ordinance, 33-14. The council also approved an expansion of the bike share program.
WBEZ reports that several aldermen have
gotten nabbed by red light cameras.
City Council will be considering the speed camera ordinance tomorrow, and CDOT has provided some ward-by-ward accident data for them to review.
The Expired Meter got hold of the report and provides some analysis.
An Obama campaign
fashion show? Yep, June 12.
Twenty-three people were
arrested at an Occupy protest last night against the closure of Woodlawn Mental Health Center. Ramsin Canon reports in Mechanics.
Former Mayor Daley has
agreed to testify in a lawsuit against the City concerning the Jon Burge torture case.
Think that City Council did a
shoddy job of redistricting wards earlier this year? Then do it yourself: researchers at UIC devised an interactive game to redistrict the city's wards, challenging users to create equally diverse boundaries. Harder than you think?
Rolling Stone's Rick Perlstein thinks
Rahm has a problem with democracy.
As former Blagojevich chief of staff John Harris does his 10 days of prison time,
details about the chaos he had to manage emerge.
Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock has been
reimbursed over $150,000 from his campaign committee for expenses ranging from Greek vacations to P90X exercise videos, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reports. [ via]
The Illinois House voted 114-0 on Wednesday to make
necrophilia a Class 2 Felony.
Rod Blagojevich's former chief of staff John Harris
received a ten day prison sentence for his role in the senate seat debacle that sent his old boss to jail for 14 years. Harris provided key testimony for the prosecution.
Congressman Bobby Rush was
removed from the House floor for wearing a hoodie while addressing the Trayvon Martin case. Acting Speaker Gregg Harper (R-MS) asked the sergeant-at-arms to enforce the House rule forbidding hats in the chamber.
Goodie Mags is a service that sends magazines to your loved ones in the hospital, nursing homes, even jails and prisons. You can also send magazines to your favorite incarcerated celebrities! The first celebrity recipient? According to Goodie Mags founder and CEO Miriam Bhimani, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.
Collectors Weekly traces
the modern history of protest posters and manifestos from Chicago 1968 up to today's Occupy movement.
Chicago Current has launched a
Sweet 16 of Clout; vote for the most influential in each bracket and see who advances.
In Mechanics, Ramsin Canon explains
why he's not voting today, and Monica Reida tells why she nearly didn't either.
Given today is the Illinois primary, The Washington Post's
Fact Checker reviewed one of Romney's Illinois radio ads attacking Santorum. The verdict? Two Pinocchios.
You'll never guess
where Illinois lands on a study of corruption (not corruption itself) in each state. [ risk via]
Here's some resources for tomorrow's elections (you're gonna vote, right?): find your
voter status, sample ballot and polling place (which will be open from 6am-7pm), and take a look at endorsements by the Tribune (note that the Sun-Times ended endorsements earlier this year), the Independent Voters of Illinois [ pdf], Vote for Judges, the Chicago Bar Association, Chicago Federation of Labor, Chicago Council of Lawyers, and Planned Parenthood Illinois.
Voter turnout is expected to be
particularly light for tomorrow's Illinois primary.
profiles 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar, who's still trying to stay clear of party politics a year after getting elected.
In Mechanics, Joe Macaré delves into the
Occupy Festival and its implications for the movement it's co-opted.
While the Illinois Republican primary
might actually matter this election season, a presidential candidate debate in Chicago this week featured zero actual candidates. Meanwhile, there are accusations of fraud circling the Chicago GOP chairman election.
Yesterday federal agents arrested
North Side State Representative Derrick Smith and charged him with bribery. He allegedly accepted $7,000 to support a grant to a day care center. The other effect of the arrest is the upcoming primary is going to be a nightmare.
In These Times' Joel Handley makes the case that our understanding of gangs is outdated, and the city could do a better job of dealing with street violence if it had a better model of its causes.
Details of the speed camera revenue plan are starting to roll out of city hall, including that the cameras would be in operation by the end of the year.
The Ward Room runs down
some of the odder polling places around the city -- and includes sample Yelp reviews.
The head of the NATO event welcoming committee recently met with business owners
to provide a new level of details about planning and clearly asked for people to head downtown during the NATO meeting.
MAS Context's new issue (and redesign) is live, and the theme is " ownership."
In Mechanics, Caroline O'Donovan profiles
the campaign of Will Guzzardi, the latest challenger to the Chicago machine.
Everyone's favorite Chinatown park,
Ping Tom Memorial Park, will be getting a new fieldhouse and pool as part of its massive expansion on the north side of 18th Street.
Catholic schools that ordinarily patronize the Steppenwolf for Young Adults series
are steering clear of , an original piece by Sarah Gubbins that touches on issues of bullying gay students. Sex columnist FML: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life Dan Savage of the It Gets Better Project is making a special appearance this Friday in a post-show discussion with his brother, Bill Savage. The play runs through March 18, with matinee performances available for school groups, and public performances Saturdays and Sundays.
In the wake of Chicago losing the G8 summit yesterday, you may have missed
the speech US Attorney General Eric Holder gave at Northwestern Law School explaining when and why the US government can kill American citizens overseas in the name of terrorism prevention.
Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at Northwestern University School of Law
The White House announced today that
the G8 Summit will be held at Camp David instead of in Chicago. NATO is still on.
After decades of protesting, Little Village and Pilsen residents celebrate a recent deal to shut down two
coal-fired power plants, owned by Midwest Generation. Pollution from the plants has been blamed for illness, asthma attacks and even death in the community over the years.
A celebration of Chicago's 175th birthday with Rahm Emanuel at the Chicago History Museum was
interrupted by a group protesting the closure and consolidation of city mental health clinics.
The NATO and G8 summits could cost the City as much as
$65 million according to Stand Up Chicago. Steve Rhodes digs further into that number.
Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan is feeling the heat a little this election season, so he's rolling out the big guns:
campaign flyers poking fun at Rod Blagojevich.
Bill Clinton joined Mayor Emanuel to announce a
$1.7 billion "Infrastructure Trust" to fund projects like upgrading the city's energy infrastructure. Meanwhile, James Warren writes in The Atlantic about Emanuel's growth strategy for Chicago.
The City announced an $11 million plan to
overhaul the minority contracting program, and it's funding it on a settlement collected from Allied Waste Management, one of the companies tied to the hired truck scandal.
Sun-Times reporter Neil Steinberg reflects on how he could have handled a
chance encounter with former Senator Roland Burris differently. (If you haven't already, listen to Burris' WBEZ interview from Friday afternoon.)
Chicago Housing Authority is launching [pdf] the design process for the "Plan for Transformation 2.0," and they'd like your input.
eight campaign commercials from Adlai Stevenson's presidential bid in 1952. [ via]
Serious Materials, the company that took over the Republic Windows factory after the 2009 sit-in, says it is closing the Chicago plant immediately. In response, workers are occupying the site again, asking for more time to explore the plant's future. Updates are being posted to the Occupied Tribune site, where it is reported that the workers and management are making progress with their negotiations. UPDATE: An agreement has been reached to keep the plant open for 90 days to explore options for new ownership.
To be Demolished entries, 1448 W. 62nd St. and 8537 S. Escanaba Ave., are both victims of the mortgage crisis.
Buddy Guy got President Obama to
sing a verse of "Sweet Home Chicago" with B.B. King during Blues night at the White House last night. The full concert, which also featured Mick Jagger, Trombone Shorty, Shemekia Copeland and Jeff Beck, will be broadcast on WTTW Monday, Feb. 27 at 9pm as part of the station's Black History Month programming.
sang a bit of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" on Jan. 19 at a fundraiser for the Apollo Theater.
Buzzfeed shares a timeline of
Barack Obama on video going back to 1991. As Chicagoist notes, a lot of this is old news to Chicagoans.
The City is currently taking bids to outfit the Chicago Police Department's 30-man mounted unit with riot gear for the G8 summit.
And not just the officers, but the horses too -- leather nose guards, wrap-around eye visors, high-impact plastic leg shields and a small sign asking you not to pull on their tail (not true).
Cook County Circuit Court Judge
Vanessa A. Hopkins took over 200 sick days last year due to a shoulder injury and various undisclosed illnesses. Hopkins' tenure hasn't been without other controversy; she only had two years of professional experience when she became a judge in 1996, and every local bar group has deemed her unqualified for her position. Hopkins represents the first judicial subcircuit, which encompasses part of the South Side; she is up for re-election this fall.
rally this afternoon at 4pm at Lake View High School, Ashland and Irving Park, in support of the schools on CPS's short list for closure and turnaround. The rally will then march up to Mayor Emanuel's home.
The Emanuel administration is
challenging the 2010 census count for Chicago, claiming that as many as 2,350 residents were missed. Since each resident earns the City around $1,200 a year in federal funding, adding even that few people to the 2,695,598 estimated population would mean an extra $2.8 million a year.
Fire Commissioner Thomas Hoff has
resigned after 35 years of service.
Visit Rod Blagojevich! He
reports to prison there March 15 for his fourteen-year corruption sentence.
A UIC study led by professor and former alderman Dick Simpson shows that Chicago is the most corrupt federal district in the country. The study also finds that Illinois is the third most corrupt state in the nation.
Chicago is spending about $193,000 for police
face shields — Money well spent?
Mayor Emanuel doesn't have one circle of advisers, he has several. Fran Spielman
names some names.
Check out the
full transcript of Tribune reporter David Kidwell's Feb. 8 interview with Emanuel — an interview described as "sometimes contentious, sometimes humorous."
Governor Pat Quinn
signed a bill into law this morning that will allow for tickets to be issued to drivers caught speeding within an eighth of a mile of schools or parks on the network of red light cameras. The law goes into effect July 1.
Adbusters isn't the only organization
planning to occupy Chicago during the NATO and G8 summits. Anonymous is on its way, too. [ via]
jumped on the NATO/G8 protest bandwagon last week, they did so without checking with #Occupy Chicago.
Newt Gingrich may want to be seen as rising up the the challenge of his rival, but he didn't check on whether Survivor was OK with him
using "Eye of the Tiger" at campaign rallies, and now he's got a legal challenge on his hands.
If you liked my play on the lyrics up there, you'll love
Samantha Abernathy's post on Chicagoist.
If your indoor plants are seeming a bit lonely, why not get them a set of
wee Obamas to keep them company.
Tonight at 5:30, Northwestern is hosting a
free screening of the documentary Miss Representation. It premiered at Sundance last year, and looks at how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America
IIT grad student Andrew Bayley built a
jigsaw puzzle based on the new ward map. Unfortunately, you can't build the corners and sides first; all the pieces seem to be crooked.
Andrew Bayley thought the new ward map looked like a jigsaw puzzle. So he
made it into one. Ward Room's Ted McClelland talked with him about it.
Andrew Bayley, a graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Architecture has created a wooden jigsaw puzzle version of the new ward map. [ via]
delivered a golden toilet to the CME's chairman, Terry Duffy, this morning in protest of the "corporate welfare" the organization received from the state.
Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, after suffering a stroke and undergoing surgery on Monday, is in good condition. He even
asked for his Blackberry, according to the Sun-Times. His Twitter account, which appears to be at least partially authored by the Senator himself, has been inactive since the stroke.
The Reader's Mick Dumke gets up close and personal with
Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. John Greenfield talked with Ald. Burnett about transportation for us last year.
The Tribune apps team makes it easier to see what changes have been made to ward map by putting it
side-by-side with the old one.
We don't usually talk about him unless he's in town, but this is too good to pass up: Barack Obama
sang the first line of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" last night at a fundraiser at the Apollo Theater -- with Rev. Al Green in the audience.
contentious City Council vote to redraw ward lines, you may have a new alderman starting in 2015. More in Mechanics.
The official websites for Senators
Durbin and Kirk are down, likely under tremendous burden from the PIPA/SOPA traffic. Still, the Senators' phone lines are active, even if Kirk is letting calls go to voicemail.
Ethics Reform Task Force launched an online forum Wednesday that allows the public to make recommendations for strengthening city ethics rules. Of the few posts already up on the forum, all anonymous, there seem to be a few common suggestions for aldermanic ethics rules: term limits, more open meetings and a ban on lawmakers working for city contractors once they leave office.
Author and cabbie Dmitry Samarov weighs in on Mayor Emanuel's proposed new taxi ordinance. Chicago Dispatcher has even more dissent.
Have a lot of free time or want something to do during this weekend?
WBEZ has a guide to help people create their own ward maps. Data and links to required programs are listed, but assembly is required.
Yesterday CBOE Holdings Inc. CEO Bill Brodsky
criticized the state's dire financial situation after his company recently received an estimated $6 million in new state tax cuts.
The year is 2012, and six of the Founding Fathers have been kidnapped through time to be props in the presidential election. Follow the antics of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison in the new
transmedia series, " I Made America."
Bill Daley has
resigned as White House Chief of Staff, after a year on the job. Daley had planned to leave at the end of Obama's current term.
In Illinois, it's
totally legal for a government official to simultaneously work as a lobbyist -- even when the issue they're lobbying for is being considered by a committee they sit on.
To show support for the suburban woman who was
brutally assaulted and raped on New Year's Eve in Logan Square, Rape Victims Advocates have organized a community meeting tonight at 5:30pm [ PDF]. Meet at the Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee; the group will then walk to the area where the woman was found.
Log an Square Community Response 2012
Aaron Kraus has created a
Tumblr (NSFW) with an intersection of the phrase "Hey Girl" from Ryan Gosling memes, Rick Santorum's positions women's rights and pictures of Rick Santorum. Submissions to the blog are being accepted (Still NSFW).
The parking meter debacle is back in the news --
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists hosts its third annual
Doomsday Clock Symposium next Monday, Jan. 9, after which they'll adjust the clock if deemed necessary. It is currently at six minutes to midnight.
ReadWriteWeb's Alicia Eler talks with Chicago artists about
the effect SOPA would have on online artists.
It looks like the U.S. Justice Department will allow states to sell lottery tickets online, and
Illinois plans to get in on the action as soon as possible.
State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka and State Treasurer Dan Rutherford thinks their offices
should be merged into one. House Speaker Michael Madigan doesn't agree.
"These 50 Democrats are chumps compared with party colleagues in the state legislature. Those guys know how to chew gum, draw a map and stick a knife in rivals' backs at the same time." -James Warren on
the city and state's redistricting machinations.
Whet Moser thinks Emanuel's proposed $1,000 fine for protesting the G8 summits next spring is
The Reader's Steve Bogira takes a look at
campaign finance and political action committees in Chicago, and notes that the CME, which won its tax break from the state this week, tipped its local representatives handsomely.
The former mayor just added *another* job title to his resume:
board member of the Coca-Cola company.
CeaseFire's visibility increased this year with the release of
The Interrupters, but is it effective? Michael Moreci reports in Mechanics.
residents, pedestrians and public safety advocates will be attending a hearing at City Hall tomorrow at 10am to protest an ordinance that Logan Square alderman Rey Colon is proposing that would allow a removal of a "Pedestrian Street" designation in order for a McDonald's (located at 2707 North Milwaukee) to undergo renovation.
ChicagoLobbyists.org charts the biggest lobbyists in the city. It's part of the Apps for Metro Chicago competition, on which you can still vote through Dec. 12.
Keep your eye out for a copy of
the Occupied Chicago Tribune, in print and online.
The Chicago Justice Project
examines the crime rates in the police districts scheduled for closing. [ via]
Mayor Emanuel is considering
cuts to the City's communications department, according to the Chicago News Coop.
Our former governor's long trial is
CRO's latest political street art features a familiar pizza baron.
Photo by Gabriel X. Michael.
The Reader's Joravsky and Dumke dig into
the politics of pot.
WGN will be
streaming the event, which starts at 10:30am at Old Sat Pat's, 700 West Adams. Airspace restrictions at O'Hare indicate that Michelle Obama (who once worked for Mayor Daley) may be attending.
The former mayor's wife has
died after a long history with cancer. She was 68 years old.
Citing our "liberal policies [that] are an insult to the traditional values of downstate families," two Republican state reps from central Illinois have proposed a bill for Cook County to separate from Illinois and become its own state.
Does an AV Club commenter who writes like Cookie Monster need to
clearly explain the Occupy Wall Street movement to you?
Mayor Emanuel's budget was just
passed City Council unanimously.
While Occupy protestors in other cities have met with force, Chicago has been largely free of violence (a nice contrast to the city's reputation with protests) -- and as a result has
seen its influence grow.
Meanwhile, a group of Occupy Chicago protestors were down in Hyde Park Monday night to protest the Condoleezza Rice/Henry Paulson talk. The talk was postponed, but
the protest went on anyway.
investigating Rahm Emanuel's use of his personal email account to communicate with Attorney General Eric Holder during his tenure as Obama's Chief of Staff, which is a violation of the Presidential Records Act. Government officials maintain that the exchanges were of a "purely personal" matter.
that article about what might happen to Occupy Chicago in the winter? One idea from the demonstrators: move indoors.
Monica Westin examines
Occupy Chicago with 13 different approaches, managing to make more sense of the whole than most so far.
The Ravenswood Community Council continues to receive city contracts despite being deemed unfit by the Dept. of Community Development. It's become former alderman Eugene Schulter's private fiefdom, according to
a Center Square Journal exposé.
The tea party congressman and
pro-family deadbeat dad turned a meeting with constituents at a restaurant in Barrington last weekend into a screaming match over the economy.
The Mayor's Office added
Google+ to its arsenal of social media accounts.
The Tribune finds out that Rahm's promise for "transparent government"
applies to everyone but him.
The WSJ is
reporting that a large part of the duties of Obama's Chief of Staff William Daley are undergoing an unprecedented transfer over to fellow aide Pete Rouse. Daley will retain the title but will focus more on specific projects rather than day-to-day management of the White House.
Cardinal Francis George and the Catholic Conference of Illinois are
doing some pretty fast backtracking after learning the actual facts of an event they protested without knowing the event's details.
The Pro Bono Thinking Society has a proposal for
a rational, non-gerrymandered ward redraw, all ready for the City Council's consideration.
To help make sense of the whirlwind of TIF talk, Ben Joravsky put together a beginner's guide about
where your money actually ends up.
Occupy movements have popped up in
Austin and Bronzeville, and organized took action this weekend to draw attention to the foreclosure crisis in the city.
It looks like the
Children's Museum's plans to move to Grant Park's Daley Bicentennial Plaza are all but dead now that new renderings for the plaza are complete without a Children's Museum to be found.
In a move that may demonstrate the reach of the Tea Party movement,
Illinois Senate Republicans do not currently support a bill to reduce the tax burden of the CME and CBOE
He may not be able to drive, but your pooch
still needs a dog license in the City of Chicago, and less than 5 percent of Chicagoans have been buying them. Starting next year, you'll get fined unless fido has a bit of official City jewelry on his collar. Licenses range from $5 to $50.
Former GB writer Daniel Strauss says, "The Economist seems to
like what Emanuel is doing."
Over the weekend, someone posted
an announcement on Chicago.IndyMedia.org claiming to be a gay activist who threw bricks through the windows of the Christian Liberty Academy. Box Turtle Bulletin analyzed the message and smells a hoax. (Thanks, FoF!)
FOX News Chicago asked a
Chicago Tea Party member to visit the Occupy Chicago protest. It went about how you'd expect.
Watching the Republican presidential debate tonight?
Scott VanDenPlas and other folks on the Obama for America tech team created GOPDebateWatch, where you can donate to the president's campaign every time a GOP candidate uses one of their buzzwords, like "9-9-9" or "Romneycare."
Thomas Friedman paid a visit to City Hall and
assessed our new mayor in the New York Times.
The Tribune looks on the bright side of the OccupyChi arrests in Grant Park this weekend:
it'll get us ready for the G-8 summit here next spring.
Need help catching up on the week's protest news?
Curtis Black has your back.
Mayor Emanuel included a proposal to
cut Chicago Public Library hours in his 2012 budget.
Dabble has launched a campaign to get Mayor Emanuel to teach a class. If he does, Dabble will donate all proceeds from the proposed $20 tickets to charities supporting education.
The parade isn't the only big march today:
Stand Up Chicago has organized not one but three protest marches for 4pm today, advocating for jobs, homes and schools. The News Coop talks to the organizers.
the Bloomingdale Trail held public charrettes last week; Grid Chicago has a great rundown of what was discussed.
Cook County's new amnesty policy for illegal aliens is getting some
pushback from Sheriff Tom Dart as well as the Obama administration.
The parking meters and Chicago Skyway deals get mentioned in Matthew Taibi's new book,
. Griftopia Rolling Stone has an excerpt.
Obama's Chicago base's willingness to donate and volunteer.
In case you missed
MAS Context's newest issue launch: Speed is ready for viewing. The Chicago-based quarterly goes everywhere from the Town of Speedway, Indiana to the megalopolis of Mumbai, India.
A Tribune-WGN investigation has discovered that changes to the state's pension code 20 years ago will net a handful of union leaders
$56 million in retirement benefits. Former CFL president Dennis Gannon was rehired by the City for a single day in order to qualify him for the pension windfall.
At least four Cook County Commissioners are currently
refusing to take ten unpaid work days this year despite passing a budget requiring most other county employees to take the pay cut.
The Tribune's Steve Chapman thinks President Obama's best move right now would be
to not run for reelection.
The Puppy Mill Project is, you might have guessed, trying to end the practice of "puppy mill" commercial dog breeding. They're protesting outside alleged mill store Puppies R Us on Saturday. [ via]
has gotten a lot of amazing reactions, but one recent event stands out: The Interrupters The UN will screen the film to its delegates as part of the International Day of Peace events.
The Reader pieces together a timeline of his statements about the meter-lease deal, showing a bit less consistency than most of us would probably like.
A judge has ruled that former Medill professor David Protess and students in the
Center for Wrongful Convictions program must turn over emails relating to one of the cases they worked on.
ruling [pdf] out of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston supports the capacity of individuals to record police officers, a potentially interesting development in light of the Chris Drew case.
Yesterday HUD announced
that it's funding a $30 million redevelopment in Woodlawn as part of the national Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. The bulk of the funds will go to the Grove Parc development, although other funds will go to CeaseFire and other programs.
goes for a laugh with an anecdote about talking to then incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in his new memoir, In My Time.
Mayor Emanuel ranked 8th out of the 90 competitors in his triathlon age group.
Each year, the
Sun-Times Charity Trust awards grants to Chicago organizations that support youth in education, art and civic engagement. This year, the Trust has set up the Sun Shine Project for the greater Chicago community to "shine a light" on worthy charities and select projects that deserve a grant. The nomination phase is happening right now!
The controversial eavesdropping law
used to charge Chicago artist Chris Drew is in the news before his trial due to another case involving the secret audio recording of police officers. The woman in this case was promptly acquitted because of an exception in the law for cases wherein there is a "reasonable suspicion" that a crime may be committed.
Nearly 50 years ago, Chicagoan and Peace Corps Volunteer Larry Radley was among 30 people who died in a plane wreck in the Colombian jungle. His brother vowed to visit the site,
but didn't realize how difficult that would be.
Chicago's breakaway-spirited MDW Fair will return this October to Bridgeport's Geolofts, and has announced that proposals for the sophomore installment are now being accepted.
Chicago mag has a Q&A with Obama's chief campaign strategist,
Tuesday marks the first 100 days of Mayor Emanuel's first term. The
Tribune, the Sun-Times and The Economist take stock. Offer your own assessment in Fuel.
Conservative political commentator
Lenny McAllister talks with 2City News about the state of leadership in Chicago's African-American community today.
Chicago Public Media is hosting an event with many of the region's elected leaders to assess Mayor Emanuel's first 100 days in office, and they want you to submit questions.
Chicago isn't the only local governmental entity with data to share.
Look at Cook offers up information about Cook County's budget.
On Wednesday, Aug. 17 from 12:15 to 1pm, Mayor Emanuel will do a
live Q&A session online with the Better Government Association's Andy Shaw. Submit questions via Facebook or Twitter.
Illinois General Assembly Legislative Scholarships have been abused quite a bit over the years -- the latest being Rep. Dan Burke's award of a scholarship to a former secretary's daughter who may not have met the requirements of the program. Gov. Quinn has been trying to get the scholarships eliminated.
TIF districts are spread across the city, but not evenly. The Chicago News Cooperative
visualized the spread of the city's TIF districts and looked at how the funds were spent. Meanwhile, the Reader's Ben Joravsky examined Mayor Emanuel's willingness to push for a TIF that would put a grocery store across from another one in Greektown, and the CME's refusal to finalize a $7 million TIF deal started last year.
Mayor Emanuel announced plans to
switch the city's trash pickup to a grid system. Over in Mechanics, Jeff Smith explains why this makes a whole load more sense over the ward map-based system.
Mayor Emanuel's Ravenswood home has been getting a
makeover in preparation for its owners' return.
A judge ruled that former mayor Richard M. Daley
may be sued in connection with the Jon Burge police torture case.
Two major trade shows have changed their annual show dates in order to accommodate next May's G8 summit and its security demands.
Landmarks Illinois has had a busy forty years working to protect the state's historic buildings. Here are forty highlights [pdf]. Among the local successes are the Clarke House, The Chicago Theatre and the Historic Bungalow Initiative.
Landmarks Illinois 40 Over 40 Flyer
Got ideas for how the City could balance its budget?
The security detail Ald. Ed Burke's still holding onto decades after the
Council Wars ended cost the City $600,000 a year, according to a Fox News/Better Government Association report.
Bughouse Square Debates last weekend, former GB staffers Richard Lorenc and Kenzo Shibata debated each other on the question, "Should public employees have collective bargaining rights?" We've got video in Mechanics.
After School Matters, the nonprofit founded by Maggie Daley, received a $6.5 million grant four days before Mayor Daley left office.
Curtis Black shares some
South Side neighborhoods' perspectives on TIF reform.
big downer of the to-be-signed debt relief bill means that starting in 2012, graduate and professional students will no longer have subsidized Stafford loans, making the cost of affording school even more difficult. Tune in to 101.1FM around 7:20am tomorrow to learn more about this from Tim Opgenorth, Director of Financial Aid at UIC.
The suburban anti-gay organization Americans for Truth about Homosexuality
just lost its tax-exempt status for not filling out critical federal forms for three years. Read more about the organization and its 2010 anti-gay conference in Mechanics.
Non-violent Cook County jail inmates have been chosen to work after-hours at Chicago's Animal Care and Control
cleaning up kennels, a program that helps save the City money and gives the inmates useful services to perform.
Former Cicero town president Betty Loren-Maltese
watched her gaudy-ass house get sold at an onsite auction yesterday.
A library in West Humboldt Park became
the first public building to be named after Richard M. Daley, with both the former and current mayor in attendance at yesterday's dedication ceremony.
Congressman Joe Walsh, a Tea Party member who represents the northwest suburbs, allegedly owes
more than $100,000 in back child support payments, according to a lawsuit filed by his ex-wife.
Freshman alderman Amaya Pawar (47th) made good on his campaign promise to
reduce his salary from the standard $108,000 to just $60,000. Meanwhile, his chief of staff is one of the best paid in the city.
There are only
seven available jobs currently posted at the city's human resources site, and nearly 10% [pdf] unemployed in the metropolitan area. Happy Thursday?
follows the punches that took the planned protests against Odd Future at Pitchfork from potent to paper fans.
Mayor Emanuel announced that 625 city employees
will receive layoff notices today amid efforts to streamline the government and save money. Meanwhile, Bloomberg Philanthropies, controlled by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is giving Chicago $6 million in grants over the next three years.
The Tribune has put together
an interactive map showing how the racial makeup of the city has changed, ward by ward, to help visualize how race may come into play as City Council redraws the ward map.
Speaking of family collections, yesterday Cicero Town President Larry Dominick
testified that he placed more than 20 relatives on the town's payroll.
brief (but lucrative) tenure as police chief, Jody Weis has accepted a new position as deputy director of the nonprofit Chicago Crime Commission.
As of today, Illinois is the 16th state to abolish the death penalty. Some other laws go into effect too.
Mayor Emanuel will hold a
town hall meeting on Facebook today at 1:30pm. Submit questions in advance here.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has given City Hall
labor unions a tough choice: Agree to $20 million in savings through work-rule changes or lay or lay off 625 union members. He made the proclamation while touting Walgreens' plans to add 600 jobs in Chicago over the next years. Of course, Walgreens employees don't have the same wages and benefits as the union members.
Chicago magazine has an exclusive
interview with Robert Blagojevich regarding his trial and his brother's retrial.
Watch WBEZ reporter Tony Arnold and producer Andrew Gill as they
walk us through their experience of the verdict announcement from yesterday's Blago trial.
The FBI released
more than 6,000 documents related to its investigation of the Yippies today, including many related to the group's activity at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Meanwhile, BoingBoing notes graphic design similarities between a Yippie flier and Yahoo's logo.
The wife of imprisoned former governor George Ryan
died this morning at age 76 in Kankakee.
Rod Blagojevich added to a list of convictions including George Ryan, Scooter Libby, Conrad Black, Daley's "Hired Truck Scandal" aides, and Jon Burge, it's becoming clear that you shouldn't mess around on U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's turf. Here's the NY Times profile of Fitzgerald from 2008. ( Previously on GB.)
Former governor Rod Blagojevich was found
guilty of 17 of 20 counts of corruption. We wait for Rod's response.
Starting January 1, 2012, all Illinois car passengers, regardless of age or where they're seated in the car, have to buckle their seat-belts. Not a requirement just for drivers and front seat passengers anymore, you back seat drivers better get used to buckling up (except in buses, cabs, and emergency vehicles).
Gov. Quinn signed the legislation into law today.
Ald. Ed Burke is
refusing to give up his security detail of on-duty police officers, which dates back to the Council Wars of the 1980s, in spite of Police Chief McCarthy's request that they be released and put back into active duty. The commenters at Second City Cop think Burke's nuts if he thinks he still needs protection.
For the transgender community, choosing which restroom to use in a public place can be both a political statement and a risk to one's safety. Joe Erbentraut
explores the issue in A/C.
The Obama administration and Mayor Emanuel
plan to host two distinct meetings of very powerful people in Chicago next year, an event that would require unprecedented security preparations.
Karl Klockars questions whether Ald. Tom Tunney is
in violation of City Council ethics rules for not recusing himself from the food truck legislation, since he owns several restaurants and has catered events for the City.
Obama impersonator who got yanked from the stage at last weekend's Republican Leadership Conference? He's Reggie Brown, and he's from Chicago.
He has also appeared on
John Stossel's Fox News show in recent weeks.
Announced a few weeks ago,
the Cubs' contribution to the "It Gets Better" project debuted today, starring second baseman Darwin Barney, outfielder Marlon Byrd, pitcher Ryan Dempster, manager Mike Quade, first base coach Bob Dernier and co-owner Laura Ricketts. (h/t SB Nation)
An investigation by
Better Government Association and the Center on Wrongful Convictions found that wrongful convictions of 85 men and women in Illinois has cost taxpayers more than $214 million, and imprisoned innocent people for 926 years. Meanwhile, the real perpetrators committed nearly 100 felonies. Read the report, and hear reporter John Conroy discuss it on "Eight Forty-eight" this morning.
It's no doubt that Chicagoans love politics. So it shouldn't be a surprise that the top two political mom bloggers in the country live right here.
Circle of Moms, a social networking site for moms of all types, held a contest to see who were the favorite mom bloggers. First place went to occasional GB contributor Veronica Arreola of Viva La Feminista. A very close second place went to rocker-mom Gina Crosley-Corcoran of The Feminist Breeder.
Michigan Avenue is currently
blocked by a Chicago Teachers Union/ Stand Up Chicago protest. Former GB staffer/current CTU organizer Kenzo Shibata is tweeting it live. (Thanks for the correction, Ryan!)
On Saturday, amid the
zombies and blues fans, a group of Libyan Americans demonstrated on Michigan Avenue across from the Congress Hotel. It was just one of many protests here since the revolution in Libya began in February.
More photos here.
The City released
a database of all current employees' salaries; Ramsin slices and dices it for you in Mechanics.
As the new human resources commissioner assumes her duties, some aldermen
long for the days of rampant patronage.
Mayor Emanuel has ordered city agencies to
cease using the government credit card after investigations by the BGA and Fox News Chicago found several departments, including the Park District, CTA and CHA, abusing the privilege.
The Reader's Mick Dumke is suing the City over denied FOIA requests;
Micah Uetricht talks to him about it in Mechanics.
SlutWalk Chicago is tomorrow; Rachel Rabbit White talks with the organizers in Time Out.
It might be the worst kept secret in Chicago's tech scene of late:
Harper Reed is the CTO of the Obama 2012 campaign.
Here are a few, uh, choice
courtroom sketches of our former governor and his, apparently, tiny, creepy hands.
The City is
opening the tap on data, moving beyond the FOIA info that has filled the City Data Portal for the past couple years. (Meanwhile, Michael Miner worries that FOIA is becoming passé among journalists.)
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was
in town yesterday, and had his leftover pizza from Gino's East delivered to President Obama's campaign headquarters.
The Reader taks a look at the
20 months. that led up to Rahm Emanuel becoming mayor of Chicago.
Fantasy Costumes already has a
Rahm Emanuel rubber mask, available for $39.99 online. Shop employees told the Trib the store's owner figured Emanuel would win the mayoral election and got a jump on designing the mask.
A coalition of nine U of C student groups is working to stop a contract change that could lead to the firing of 56 U of C staff housekeepers. Their latest effort was a demonstration on Monday.
Dick Simpson shares
his thoughts on congressional redistricting in Mechanics; Chicago Journal focuses in on the further slicing of downtown.
From permeable alleys to warm weather plants,
Chicago is leading the way in municipal preparations for climate change.
Governor Quinn, Mayor Emanuel and Senate President Cullerton are all now officially on record
supporting opening a casino in Chicago.
Speaking of duels, the
Chicago News Cooperative and the Tribune both have interactive guides to the new City Council.
Chicago rapper and actor Common was invited to participate in a
White House poetry event -- which became one of the points of debate between Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly.
In what will surely be a familiar refrain, if not a tired cliché, soon, both
John Greenfield and the Neo-Futurists made a play on the carrol " O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" with regards to our incoming mayor.
The incoming chief technology officer for Chicago, FoGB John Tolva,
said goodbye to IBM on Friday and today talks about where he's headed in his new role.
A Toronto Sun columnist took our new mayor's inauguration as a sign to compare the two cities. His verdict?
Chicago is in good shape.
Head down to Millennium Park at 10:30am this morning for the
swearing-in ceremony for Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, treasurer Stephanie Neely, and City Clerk-elect Susana Mendoza. You can watch it online here. You can then take the party over to City Hall, where Emanuel hosts an open house between 2-4pm.
The owner of
Felony Franks, the ex-convict employing hot dog joint that made headlines when it opened in 2009, is suing the city because it hasn't granted him a sign license.
Time Out does
exit and entrance interviews with mayors Daley and Emanuel.
Downstate Republican Congressman (and fitness nut)
Aaron Schock went shirtless for this month's issue of Men's Health as part of their Fit for Life Summer Challenge. This is not the first time that Schock's abs have been given media coverage.
Newly released FBI files on James "Jack" Duff, Jr. also include another name: Richard M. Daley. Maybe someone visiting the open house could ask him about that.
Mayor Daley is
holding a public open house today; stop by the fifth floor of City Hall from 1 to 4pm for a chance to shake the man's hand.
So says the
Illinois is Broke campaign.
As the end of Richard M. Daley's reign nears, many are assessing his career. Read the thoughts of
Ramsin Canon in Mechanics and John Kass in the Trib.
This fall, help the
Chicago Women's Health Center move: you'll support health care, education, and counseling for people of all backgrounds and get bonus prints, minicomics, or uterus-sporting flags from illustrator Laura Szumowski.
From this afternoon's City Hall hearing on the
permit status brouhaha for the Logan Square Farmers Market: Alderman Rey Colon just withdrew his application for opposing the market's permit, but whether the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce will be allowed to run the Market this summer has not yet been decided.
Windy Citizen is hosting
another "ask me anything" thread today, this time with the Better Government Association's investigative team.
The mayoral inauguration is coming up in two weeks. The optimistically named
Chicago Together pulls together details of celebrations and info on the planned day of service May 14.
City Council changed significantly this election cycle.
The Reader has a guide to help you learn the new names and faces.
Mayor-elect Emanuel has
hired Newark, NJ police director Garry McCarthy as police superintendent.
More than two dozen retired politicians are
still drawing six-figure pensions, even as pension payments threaten to bankrupt the state, according to a BGA report.
Following the lead of
Toronto, SlutWalk Chicago plans a march June 4 "to combat the myth of 'the slut' and the culture of victim blaming that prevails the world over."
Former RR Donnelly CEO Mark Angelson was
named deputy mayor, Lois Scott was named CFO and FoGB John Tolva was named CTO in the latest round of appointments from Rahm Emanuel's administration.
On a day when a
derailment near Belmont caused all sorts of snafus, Mayor-elect Emanuel named Forrest Claypool to head the CTA.
In Mechanics, Samantha Winslow reports on the perceived "
crisis in emergency room care" on the South Side due to staffing cutbacks.
Jane Byrne, Ed Kelly and five other former politicians share
advice for Mayor Daley post-retirement.
Chicago Housing Authority released a longitudinal study of the Plan for Transformation [pdf] containing information like who is in public housing, what their income is and where they moved if their building was demolished. If you'd rather not read the whole report, the executive summary is relatively thorough [pdf], and coverage is ok.
Next Wednesday, April 20, Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel will be doing a Q&A with Tribune editorial page editor Bruce Dold, and will
take questions via Twitter as well. Tag yours with #AskRahm.
The Economist on Illinois' and Chicago's
Religious and private adoption agencies would be
exempt from the Human Rights Act in Illinois under an amendment slipped into a bill supporting services for the blind.
Eight months after Barack Obama
hosted him on the White House basketball court, Derrick Rose is welcoming the president back to their hometown. The Bulls star and NBA MVP front-runner will attend the biggest (and least expensive) of three Obama fund-raisers set for Thursday in Chicago. Tickets for the 6:30pm event at Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom are $100 and $250.
A few weeks ago, we wrote about
these anti-abortion billboards which feature an image of President Obama on the south side of Chicago. Well, it turns out they're illegal and there is a petition to get them removed.
Outgoing alderman Berny Stone
tries out a career in radio Saturday night on WLS-AM. Not to be outdone, Ald. Ed Bus of the 53rd Ward will be on WBEZ in the same 7-9pm slot, talking politics and who knows what else with former alderman Burt Natarus.
The Obama reelection team is trying to
capture the spirit of the 2007 campaign headquarters as they prepare for the President's 2012 bid.
Democrats and Republicans just passed
a one week temporary budget, but here's a glimpse of what might happen locally if they can't reach a compromise next week.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago is considered one of the most free-thinking colleges in the country, if not the world. But this article in F Newsmagazine describes the firing of Roxane Assaf and links it to her political thoughts related to how the United States media covers the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Illinois will be redrawing its congressional districts this year, and while
this hypothetical map maximizes Democrat-held seats, it would probably be nightmare for, well, literally everyone. [ via]
Uptown Update hints in an
article about reporting election "shenanigans" that some people are receiving phone calls claiming that one of the 46th Ward aldermanic candidates has dropped out.
If you're in a ward with a run-off aldermanic election and you haven't made up your mind yet,
Ben Joravsky's runoff overview might help. Well, in the 24th, 25th, 43rd, 45th and 46th, anyway.
A controversial anti-abortion ad campaign
debuted on three South Side billboards that feature President Obama's likeness. The Chicago Abortion Fund and Planned Parenthood have responded. Here is photograph of the billboards:
Now that the last Cabrini-Green high rise is on its way down, the
CHA and Target are in discussions for a new Target store to be located on five acres formerly associated with the public housing project. The land would be swapped for other nearby property, and 75 CHA residents would be hired as employees.
The 50th Ward aldermanic run-off is
heating up between Berny Stone and Debra Silverstein. (We covered the race just before the Feb. 22 election.)
The Sun-Times goes behind the scenes with the crew who determines which personalized license plates are acceptable.
Local folks Busy Beaver Button Co. and Ohio design firm
Northcoast Zeitgeist team up to help Wisconsin protesters get their message out in style.
Chicago Reporter reminds us that while most high-profile Chicago Housing Authority developments have been demolished, many public housing residents are still fighting to live in the remaining units.
If you live in a ward that's undergoing a runoff election,
you can head to the early voting locations starting today.
Republicans on the
House Financial Services Committee feared that President Obama interfered in the FDIC's decision to try to save ShoreBank, so they asked the FDIC inspector to investigate. No wrongdoing was found.
Photographer Art Shay shared more photos from his archives over on Chicagoist today -- this time the lens is trained on
the Honorable Richard J. Daley.
Speaking of @MayorEmanuel, Dan Sinker was on "The Colbert Report" last night talking about it. And just the night before, ex-gov Rod Blagojevich made an appearance in what appeared to be Lincoln Square's Welles Park, which was standing in for Rockford.
Saved for posterity by
Josh Larios, @MayorEmanuel's tweets, along with contextual replies.
Rahm Emanuel's transition team now has
The derogatory word "retard" is used 24,000 times a day on Twitter.
The Social Challenge is a locally based effort hoping to change that.
Dan Sinker, the man behind
@MayorEmanuel, will meet the real Rahm Emanuel on WLS' Roe & Roeper show tonight at 5pm. If you prefer video with your audio, NBC5 will stream the show live on its website. UPDATE: Sinker tweets that he will also be appearing on the Colbert Report next Tuesday.
Long-time patrons of the Chicago art scene
Ambassador Louis B. Susman and his wife, Marjorie, have merged their love of art and their roles as the U.S. representatives to Britain with an American art collection anyone would envy.
Columbia College students took a look at
who received money from TIFs between 2000 and 2010, and found that nearly half ended up benefiting corporations rather than helping economically blighted areas. A searchable map of TIF projects is online here. And Chicago mag's Whet Moser puts into further context.
@MayorEmanuel was none other than Dan Sinker, Columbia College professor, creator of the Chicago Mayoral Scorecard and founder of Punk Planet. He'll be on Eight Forty-Eight tomorrow to discuss the project.
African Americans in Chicago earn
45 cents for every dollar white people make, making us the second-worst city racial income inequality in the United States.
Maybe our own Slowdown calendar isn't activist enough. Fortunately, there's
When Ameya Pawar won the 47th Ward race, he made history. The Center Square Journal
interviewed him in the midst of Tuesday's celebration, and the Sun-Times and Tribune give you a more in-depth look at the 30-year-old incoming alderman.
Chicagoist is hosting a
live post-election chat with Andy Shaw, Esther J. Cepeda, Mario Smith, Ald. Ed Bus and their own Kevin Robinson today at 11am. Tune in and chime in with your own thoughts.
With 88% of precincts reporting, Rahm Emanuel is declared to be the
next mayor of Chicago.
Our own Ramsin Canon will be on
WBEZ tonight, and he will be a call-in guest on CAN-TV 21 tomorrow morning from 7 to 7:30am, discussing the election in both cases. Tune in!
And speaking of Wisconsin, Mechanics contributor Micah Uetricht just posted
a report from the protests in Madison.
Perhaps inspired by Wisconsin Democrat senators who
fled to Illinois to block a vote taking away collective bargaining rights from unionized government workers, congresspeople from Indiana are heading to Illinois (or Kentucky) to avoid a similar vote. Meanwhile, Arizonaesque anti-immigrant legislation has been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly, as well as in Indiana.
@MayorEmanuel's journey looked like it was at an end, after an epic tale he told last night. More than a few people worried, but the account was back at full speed this morning.
In Mechanics, we've got a way to turn your favorite mayoral candidate
into a macro.
Ald. Bernie Stone faces four challenger on Election Day this year, and whoever wins will inherit a ward struggling to get its economic engine restarted.
Read more in Mechanics.
Those voting for Rahm Emanuel tomorrow may want to wear
Shrink Boutique's Rahmbo shirt to the polls.
Looking for some guidance on who to
choose tomorrow? Get a sample ballot and take a look at these opinions: Trib, Sun-Times, Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI-IPO), SEIU, Windy City Times, and the Chicago Defender. Polls are open from 6am-7pm.
The CTA Tattler checked into the major mayoral candidates'
positions on public transportation, and found Gery Chico strangely silent.
WindyCitizen's last Ask a Reporter Anything before the election
features Mick Dumke. He'll answer questions about TIFs, privatization and other issues this evening -- get your questions in now.
If you're a Democrat State Senator from Wisconsin who is hiding out in Illinois until Governor Scott Walker starts working with (and not
against) his colleagues, why not spend it in Logan Square? One guy will put you up for free.
Coming soon to a political theater near you?
If you're intent on
voting early, today's your last chance to do so.
takes a hard look at some of the more interesting aldermanic races around town.
told Roe Conn that he'll donate $5,000 to charity if the author of @MayorEmanuel reveals his or her identity.
An email received today from the Emanuel campaign announced that anyone who orders
this swag package and donates $5 or more today to Rahm will be entered into a drawing to have the candidate himself record a greeting on their voicemail.
Have you spotted Nick Adams'
Mayor Daley Forever signs around town? Now you can get the t-shirt.
Mayoral Tutorial is a political performance piece with a purpose: to educate you on who the candidates are and what they stand for. The show runs through Feb. 19 at Center Portion.
Two never-released studies reinforce the notion that the Chicago Police Department's camera system is only effective in certain situations and can't be properly studied; one researcher recommends an improved approach.
Shane Shifflett reports -- and provides interactive maps -- in Mechanics.
The Civic Federation doesn't think we've been privatizing the right things here in Chicago. They're advising the next mayor to
save money by privatizing services such as trash pickup and the water system.
Fictional (yet incredibly real) mayoral candidate Ed Bus held a press conference earlier today. If you weren't able to make it, he talked
one-on-one with Edward McClelland of NBC's Ward Room beforehand.
The Better Government Association has
posted the City's Do Not Hire list, showing who is banned for life and who isn't. Some think the list doesn't go far enough.
Alderman Ed Bus of the 53rd Ward and
candidate for mayor, is holding a press conference at City Hall Thursday morning at 10:30am. You're invited to ask him questions.
There are 10,000 cameras watching us in every day in Chicago, and the
ACLU of Illinois would like the City to stop adding more. Download the report here [PDF].
Chicago New Coop's City Hall reporter, Dan Mihalopoulos, is
will be answering questions about his job and the upcoming election over on WindyCitizen. It's the first in a series leading up to the election.
Those planning to take advantage of the
new civil union legislation that goes into effect on June 1 might want to check out the Civil Union Tracker that "aims to ensure that same-sex and different-sex couples are treated fairly under Illinois law."
Mark Caro delves into
the phenomenon of @MayorEmanuel on Twitter. Still no idea who writes it, unfortunately. ( Previously.)
A former guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School tells the story of
getting on the wrong side of Mayor Daley on the gun issue.
Senator Mark Kirk has
changed his mind on his previous support of climate change legislation, citing Al Gore's "personal and political collapse" as his reason.
Robert C. Sullivan High School in Rogers Park created a video discounting Rahm Emanuel's claims that the top-rated CPS high schools were all charter schools. They also promote del Valle in the video, so it is hard to tell how much help they had pulling it together. But for a negative campaign piece, it is pretty nice.
Newbie Illinois congressman Joe Walsh, who was the only member of the GOP who
refused health coverage offered by his new employer in protest against Obama's health care reform bill, got a nice little surprise from WalMart's political action committee: a $1,000 donation just for winning a close race against incumbent Melissa Bean.
Meanwhile, in Mechanics, Samantha Winslow reports on
the controversial firing of Rick Garcia at Equality Illinois
Today before a capacity crowd at the Chicago Cultural Center, Gov. Pat Quinn is signing legislation
legalizing same-sex civil unions in Illinois. Watch it live on ABC7's website.
If you want to avoid the stampede on February 22, you can participate in
early voting, which starts today at select locations (and ends February 17).
The CTA says it has
no plans to close stops the Red or Purple lines.
FYI, the Fantastic Four of mayoral candidates--Braun, Chico, del Valle and Emanuel--
will debate tonight at 7pm on WGN; you can also catch them duking it out on WTTW on February 14 and WLS on February 17.
The Illinois Supreme Court just ruled that
Rahm Emanuel can run for mayor. You just know that this song is playing at full blast in Emanuel HQ right now.
No, mayoral candidate Gery Chico wasn't referring to his competitor's plight. He's arguing that Chicago police and firefighters shouldn't be
required to live within city limits.
How would the Daley of 1983 run in the election of 2011?
Let's go to the tape.
Ed Bus, alderman of the
53rd Ward, meets with former alderman Burt Natarus for advice on his run for mayor.
The Illinois Supreme Court is
allowing Rahm Emanuel's name to remain on the mayoral election ballot while they consider his request for a hearing regarding yesterday's appellate court decision that would have removed him from the race.
In Mechanics, Ramsin Canon
delves deeply into the Rahm Emanuel residency decision and what it means for this election -- and future ones.
Join supporters of Rahm Emanuel's
campaign at 5pm at Dearborn and Washington.
Baby Teeth just released
, a five-song tribute to Mayor Daley. [ Boss via]
2-1 Appellate Court decision
says so, at least. Details to come, natch. The case will likely be appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.
We've posted the 42-page ruling in Mechanics if you're so inclined.
Chicago Mayoral Scorecard now includes a map showing where contributions to the four major mayoral campaigns came from.
Two Chicagoans face up to
15 years in prison for recording nonviolent interactions with Chicago police. The ACLU's second challenge to the Illinois Eavesdropping Act was dismissed earlier this month.
President Obama's reelection campaign office
will officially open in Chicago by late March. The campaign will be the first one headquartered outside of the Washington, D.C. area at least since the 1960s.
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush has been passed over for the ranking member position on the House Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology -- despite his seniority.
If you're running for office, everyone wants to know your position on their favorite topic. Here are a couple recent surveys:
• on schools
• on "green growth"
• on taxi-related issues
Gene Schulter, 47th Ward alderman since 1975, has
announced his retirement.
You didn't do anything wrong, but you can correct this heinous, deplorable oversight by
registering to vote with the Board of Elections; you have until January 25 if you want to get your vote in for the February 22 General Municipal Election.
Over in Mechanics
we feature Chicago HOPES, an organization that works to provide education and services for homeless children. Head over to learn about the organization's mission and accomplishments, and a little something about what it means to be a homeless child in our city.
County Treasurer Maria Pappas' cleaning lady and chauffeur have
somewhat different official titles on the payroll, it seems.
takes a look at the men and women running the mayoral candidates' campaigns.
a petition going around to remind the next mayor that the arts industry is important, too.
sounds egregious, until you realize it went from 3 percent to 5 percent, which still leaves us middle of the pack. What's more noteworthy is increase from 4.8 percent to 7 percent for businesses, which could mean businesses move or lay off employees. Wisconsin's governor is already rubbing it in.
If nothing else, this mayoral election has been
ripe for comedy.
As the City mulls selling ads on
bridge houses, Chicago News Coop's James Warren wonders where else we could place ads.
Chicago Surprise, a new Tumblr from the Tribune's Election Center team, collects candidates' responses to the survey question, "Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us."
announced today that William Daley will be his new chief of staff. Not surprisingly, this has met with criticism. Meanwhile, Michelle Obama has chosen Chicago attorney Tina Tchen as her chief of staff.
When Chicago mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun was unable to attend an LGBT event in person, she did what anybody in her position would do:
she called the event organizer, who held his phone up to a microphone so the attendees could (sorta) hear her speak to the gathering. [ via]
Illinois House made a move to consolidate Chinatown political districts in a preview of the redistricting wrangling that will occur after detailed U.S. Census data are released.
The newly elected
Joe Walsh of the 8th Illinois congressional district has the distinction of being the only member of the GOP to refuse federal health benefits in protest of last year's health care reform bill.
There are 349 candidates for alderman in this election, with varying levels of web savvy.
AldermanicWebsites helps sort through them all. Unsurprisingly, a certain star makes a lot of appearances.
The West Side state rep is
now supporting Carol Moseley Braun, the lone African-American candidate in February's election.
Just in time for New Year's Eve, here's a recipe for the
Rum Emanuel. (There's another recipe from some bar in New York, but it doesn't look as good.)
President Obama is
considering coming back to Chicago for his 2012 election campaign.
Jesse Jackson, Jr. grants
a rare interview with the Associated Press.
The city's election commissioners voted to
keep Rahm Emanuel on the February mayoral race ballot.
Rahm Emanuel should be
allowed to run for mayor, a hearing officer said in a recommendation to the Chicago Board of Elections. It's expected to be made official today.
The Daley administration is
circulating RFPs for the operation of major Chicago festivals that can include fees, naming rights and other new revenue sources.
Equality Illinois has fired cofounder and longtime director of public policy, Rick Garcia. Garcia "refused to go quietly," and was removed from Equity Illinois' offices by police today.
In the latest
Chicagoist podcast, Karl Klockars talks with the creators of Rahmfacts.
Rev. Meeks put
another foot in his mouth yesterday, saying in a WVON political forum, "I think that the word 'minority,' from our standpoint, should mean African-American. I don't think women, Asians and Hispanics should be able to use that title."
Vanity Fair shares
their ten favorite questions from Rahm Emanuel's Chicago residency hearing.
Missing from The Daily Show's
homage last night to the Senate Republicans who voted effectively against the James Zagroda 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which would fund health care for the first responders of the World Trade Center collapse, is your new Republican Senator (and sometimes heroic vet and 9/11 sympathizer) Mark Kirk.
You too can have the Vice President, the Second Lady, a Supreme Court justice and others at your book release party
if your mother is the chief of staff for the First Lady.
Early and Often has created
a wall of political videos.
Your alderman has $40 for you to use for that winterization project you've been putting off.
A certain politician with the last name Palin celebrated U of C b-school professor
Luigi Zingales in her recent book. While the right-wing professor likes the attention, he's still not going to buy her book.
Those intrigued by
yesterday's glimpse of the Northerly Island development proposal will love the full framework plan [pdf] and corresponding video.
The Trib reminds us that everyone can join in on civil union fun!
lawsuits that would force area locks closed to protect against Asian carp infestations of Lake Michigan? A federal judge struck down the last one yesterday.
Rep. Danny Davis's name will be at the
top of the ballot for the Chicago mayoral race. Voting is on February 22nd.
Later today the
Chicago Park District will unveil a long-term concept for Northerly Island, and it's a looker.
Notary Public Maricela Rodriguez
says that her seal and signature were forged more than 400 times on nominating petitions for mayoral hopefuls Rob Halpin and James Meeks.
Eleven of the 20 candidates for mayor and may of the 350 candidates for alderman face
objections to their petitions. Early and Often has an unofficial list of the objections. Meanwhile, Danny Davis got the top spot on the mayoral ballot.
Illinois House passed legislation yesterday that could clear the way for a massive synthetic gas facility to be constructed along the Calumet River. It would burn refinery waste and coal to produce the fuel, which People's Gas argues would lead to considerable cost increases for Chicago users. Next up: the Senate.
The small nation of mayoral candidates has until close of business
today [pdf] to withdraw their paperwork from the Board of Elections. I'm just sayin'.
If you live in the 4th, 28th or 38th Ward and think you have what it takes to sit on City Council, the mayor would like to
hear from you.
Mayoral candidate City Clerk Miguel del Valle
tells Gay Chicago Magazine that if elected, bullying in Chicago schools and community policing will be priorities for his administration.
CQ-Roll Call's Christina Bellantoni
tweets that Vice President Joe Biden will do the swearing in for Mark Kirk on Monday. Hopefully Biden doesn't live up to his reputation as a gaffe-factory during the worst possible moments.
Mark Kirk will be sworn in as Illinois' junior senator on Monday.
Ald. Ed Bus, 53rd Ward, is
just what this city needs.
Ever wanted to blow the whistle on wrongdoing? The Better Government Association has regular
citizen watchdog training sessions. The next one is Monday, Nov. 29.
Chicago Mayoral Scorecard has been updated to reflect the 20 candidates who filed by the deadline yesterday. Now the fun of petition challenges begins.
Jim DeRogatis reports on the City's plans to privatize its music and cultural festivals.
Today is the last day for mayoral (aldermanic, and other city office) hopefuls to submit their required petition signatures to the Board of Elections in time for the February 22 election. You can see who is running so far here [
You'd think that
Danny Davis' campaign office would be familiar enough with the Chicago flag to put the right stars on a poster.
The Reader finds that despite losing their guaranteed place on Illinois ballots, the Green Party remains optimistic for the future.
Cynthia Plaster Caster,
the mayoral interview.
Kass points out today that maybe Rahm Emanuel doesn't meet the requirements to run for mayor of Chicago. Election lawyer (and adviser to Sen. James Meeks) Burt Odelson found Emanuel was purged and reinstated on voter rolls twice.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
declared Rahm Emanuel victor in next year's mayoral race yesterday, just hours after Emanuel filed for petitions to be a candidate.
Our parking meter fiasco
is empowering other cities to rework potential parking meter lease contracts and make key changes ... like adding serious exit clauses and opportunities for long-term revenue.
On an imaginary interview show, one fictional Chicago alderman challenges a potential Chicago alderman to a
rap battle...no joke. [Caution: Some uncensored F-bombs.] (Thanks, Sandy!)
It seems candidate for 20th ward alderman, Che "Rhymefest" Smith, has a
rap sheet to go with his rap career.
Remember how Mayor Daley promised he would
preserve the prairie-style main building of Michael Reese Hospital? Well, the administration didn't heed warnings about protecting the buildings and has reneged on the promise. Today it officially announced that the main building will be demolished along with two of the three other remaining structures.
Giannoulias and Kirk got together for a beer yesterday. At the Billy Goat.
Dan Sinker made a
mobile-optimized version of the data compiled by the Committee to Elect Qualified Judges, aka voteforjudges.org.
polls are open today from 6am-7pm! If you're looking for some help in deciding on who will get your vote, here is some help from the Sun-Times, the Trib, Vote for Judges, Chicago Bar Association, the Independent Voters of Illinois, the Chicago Federation of Labor, Illinois NOW, the Reader and Windy City Times. Good luck.
Wondering who to vote for tomorrow? TheBallot.org has a convenient
collection of voter guides.
Obama Foodorama has the details regarding President Obama's weekend
dinner at Topolobombo and take-out breakfast at Valois.
Approximately 35,000 people
rallied with President Obama, Common and a veritable Who's Who of Chicago Democratic politicians on Saturday. Check out our photo essay of the event in Mechanics.
Rev. Marshall Hatch wonders if the next mayor will remember than Chicago has a West Side, not just a north and south.
The University of Chicago announced
traffic restrictions for Saturday's get out the vote rally with President Obama and Common. Meanwhile, WindyCitizen will be liveblogging the Rally to Restore Sanity satellite event in Grant Park.
Members of the band
Disturbed found themselves, along with Avenge Sevenfold and Stone Sour, pictured as criminals on a Kentucky campaign flyer. They've sent the politician a cease-and-desist letter.
Illinois Department of Corrections got decidedly mixed marks in a recent report [pdf] addressing the national treatment of women prisoners. Services for pregnant women received a "D" rating, while the state prison system is held up as a model for family-based treatment. [ via]
gays angry at Obama and the Democrats be the deciding factor in this year's election?
Michael Sneed says
investigators raided Todd Stroger's office last night. The outgoing Cook County board president told WBEZ this morning that it was a film crew taping "Ride Along" for FOX.
the next Chicago voter? Find out in Mechanics.
foretold, Che "Rhymefest" Smith announced his candidacy for 20th Ward alderman today.
Chicagoist's Karl Klockers
talks with of Kevin Lynch Proximity, the folks behind The Foursquarian Candidate. (Currently Rob Mowry is the guy to beat.)
Daley's not the only dynasty coming to an end. Ben Joravsky takes a look at
the race for Cook County board president.
The NY Times draws from research by current University of Chicago sociologist Mario Small and three former U of C sociologists, Maria Kefalas, Robert Sampson and William Julius Wilson, to draw attention to a renewed emphasis on studies of poverty and culture.
The Green, Libertarian and independent candidates for governor won't be debating with Quinn and Brady in Chicago, but
WBEZ gave them a forum to discuss the issues today.
Sen. Roland Burris says he's been
encouraged to run for mayor.
On the electronic voting machines in 23 different wards Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney is
listed as "Rich Whitey." About half the wards are predominately African American according to the Sun-Times.
Despite his flaws, Julia Keller points out a particularly nice thing Daley did: he built
59 public libraries. Not all by himself, of course, but you get the idea.
From one perspective,
journalists protected Rahm Emanuel from a conservative radio host's questions. From another, journalists tried to get rid of a guy getting in the way of their soundbite.
Senate hopefuls Alexi Giannoulias and Mark Kirk
appeared on "Meet the Press" Sunday, an indication of how important that race is to both parties nationally.
Senate candidates Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias will appear on this morning's edition of
Meet the Press (airing at 11am on NBC Channel 5).
Rev. James Meeks says
he wouldn't give up his ministry if elected mayor, leading some to question his commitment to the job. Ald. Carrie Austin said, "This is a seven-day-a-week job. This is not a part-time job. You can not serve two masters."
Speaking of home, the Whittier school occupation just got a little more politically interesting with
City Council calling on CPS to reconnect gas heat service to the occupied field house.
Todd Stroger's Deputy Chief of Staff Carla Oglesby, who came
under fire earlier this year for awarding County work contracts to both her personal business and friends, was taken into custody late this afternoon on corruption charges. She will be in court tomorrow.
Because he rented out his North Center home while working for President Obama in Washington and it's been over a year since he's lived in Chicago,
Rahm Emanuel may have a hard time convincing election judges that he meets the residency requirements to be a mayoral candidate.
He will be
coming on his "Telling it Like it Is" listening tour all over the city in the coming weeks. to for you
The Sunlight Foundation
reviews Rahm Emanuel's visitor logs. What do you think Rahm and Sam Zell talked about?
As a going-away present, Rahm Emanuel was given a
dead Asian carp. Mr. Emanuel and deceased fish have a supposed history together.
The New York Times' Monica Davey looks at the pros and cons of
the Rahm Emanuel candidacy.
With all the attention focused on the upcoming mayoral race (and all signs pointing to Rahm Emanuel
formally announcing his candidacy tomorrow), the soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat now occupied by Roland Burris has moved to the back burner. Culinary pun intended: the Breakfast Queen is running for senator.
The most high profile defense attorneys for Blago are
calling it quits.
Mayor Daley is the
2010 Laureate of the J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development for a "21-year legacy of successful community building." OK, but is calling him an "Urban Artist" pushing it? (Thanks, Beth!)
Check in. Become mayor. Become Mayor." (By these guys.)
The Chicago News Cooperative took a look at the state's midwife laws, the direct-entry midwives who are illegally assisting home births and the fight over legislation that could make most assisted home births legal.
Since it seems everyone and their brother is running for mayor, A.V. Club Chicago has started a weekly series called "
Me as Mayor," interviewing folks about what they'd do if they were on the Fifth Floor. So far, Graham Elliot and Vincent Falk have made their stump speeches.
The CTA issued an RFP for a new payment system, ideally one that will let riders pay fares with RFID enabled credit and debit cards, as well as proprietary transit cards.
that's why Oak Brook needs to "fire 'em." Oh, and there's something about "namby pamby" in the article too, so pay close attention.
Multiple news outlets are reporting that Rahm Emanuel might announce his departure from the White House this Friday so that he can run for mayor. Note though that Emanuel still hasn't made a definite decision on whether he will run.
handicaps the likelihood of Mayor Daley's privatization plans and other projects will continue after he's out of office.
Billed as a "gala celebration & tasting for friends, fans and
foodists" the Chicago media-arts nonprofit, Beyondmedia, is celebrating 10 years of media justice, 10 top Chicago chefs and 10 honor awardees. Regrettably, another Chicago event dominates the 10-10-10 slot, so they bumped theirs to October 14th. Check Slowdown or the event site for tickets and details.
Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the
Kennedy-Nixon televised debates, which were filmed at WBBM-TV's McClurg Court studios. To commemorate the event, former Kennedy confidant Ted Sorenson dispelled some myths about the legendary broadcast in the NY Times.
Will this be the year Illinois elects its first Green Party state representative?
Jeremy Karpen, running for the 39th district here in Chicago, certainly hopes so.
, an interesting print by Wyoming artist Kim Harris. Governor Blagojevich's Metamorphosis
Rahm Emanuel could leave the White House to run for mayor as early as October
according to Time.
Local blogger (and senior BDSM
profiler) Rachel Rabbit White is sponsoring a week for women to do away with the face paint, which is kickin' up a lot of discussion.
One of the
more unusual election campaigns you'll see this year. [ via]
Nope, not a typo: 1st Ward
Alderman Proco Joe Moreno now has a blog on Tumblr, where you can ask him anything. (He's on Twitter, too.)
Cook County Sheriff
Tom Dart started circulating petitions over the weekend to test the waters for a mayoral run. Dart's spokesman says it's just to see if there's any interest among Chicagoans. To run for mayor, candidates must submit petitions with 12,500 valid signatures from Chicago residents.
Nearly two months after the
Chicago Current ceased publication, the launch of Early and Often, a subscription-based political news service covering Chicago's 2011 mayoral and aldermanic elections, was announced by the Chicago News Cooperative, AlderTrack and Mike Fourcher. It'll cost you $150 to read their stories when it launches Oct. 4.
There's a political event called
Right Nation happening out in Hoffman Estates this weekend, and apparently journalists aren't invited. Tickets are $77 to $1200.
In Mechanics, Ramsin Canon considers
the consequences of identity politics.
The Reader's Ben Joravsky reflects on the end of
his personal Daley era.
Chicago Breaking News reports that Rahm Emanuel and Jesse Jackson, Jr. held a meeting yesterday. The two are considered possible successors to Mayor Daley, who announced last week that he will not seek re-election. The question remains...what, if anything, did Rahm and Jesse decide?
DePaul researchers Jody Raphael and Brenda Myers-Powell released a research report [pdf] yesterday noting pimps' common histories of sexual abuse, prostitution and familial involvement in sex trade prior to becoming pimps. (Related: our feature on sex trafficking in Chicago.)
Fortunately, Dan Sinker has created
ChicagoMayoralScorecard.com. And you can already move Manny Flores to the "In" pile.
Camaraderie ran, walked and wheeled rampant at the 2010 Disability Pride Parade downtown last July. Ruthie Kott
reports in A/C.
The Trib provides many, many
photos of the mayor that never made the paper, including a frighteningly young one of him as a page at the 1960 Democrat Convention.
Dan O'Neil hopes the next mayor gets serious about the
nitty gritty of city contracts.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez still says he's only
considering a run for mayor, but with volunteers wearing "Gutierrez for Mayor" t-shirts collecting signatures during the Mexican Independence Day parade today, it awfully looks like he's made up his mind.
Sen. Roland Burris is going to the Supreme Court to
contest the ruling that he not be allowed onto the Nov. 2nd ballot.
Looks like it'll be easier for us to get
press passes from now on. Theoretically.
Oak Park is currently considering making some changes to their taxi ordinance, including a ban on drivers wearing "
tank tops, swimwear, jogging suits, body shirts and sandals without socks" or "underwear as an outer garment."
Mayor Daley's decision to not seek re-election means that his potential successors will have to hustle to
file some major paperwork [PDF] by November 22 in order to run in the February 22 primary. Have fun gathering 12,500 petition signatures in 75 days, candidates!
Here's Sen. Dick Durbin's
press release on Mayor Daley's decision to not seek relection.
While there will surely be countless tributes to the Daley years,
here's a sampling of coverage of Daley's announcement.
Reporters covering the Blagojevich trial share their stories at "
Bleeping Golden: Insiders' Stories of Covering the Blago Trial" at Columbia's Film Row Cinema Thursday night.
The Sun-Times has a terse announcement
that Mayor Daley will not seek re-election, promising more to come. This election cycle just got very interesting. Chicago Breaking News has slightly more context regarding the announcement.
The fallout from CPD Superintendent Jody Weis's surprise sit-down with gang leaders
last weekend has been widespread: former gang members, clergy, the governor, and especially police officers have complained. Meanwhile, the Fraternal Order of Police is planning a march to protest low manpower.
dentist William DeJean has bought air time on television stations in New Orleans, Los Angeles and New York to run a (crude, weird) self-made commercial promoting Hillary Clinton's 2012 presidency bid, even though Clinton has repeatedly said she will not run again.
What was smuggled?
Because of a flurry of requests
the FBI plans on releasing files on the late Congressman Dan Rostenkowski in the coming months.
is now available digitally. It's $4.99 for Designing Obama the iPad version or free online or as a PDF.
The controversial issue of the day in Northbrook is over
a 69-year-old woman's garden in her front yard.
Chicago magazine's food critic spent the afternoon with
Nutraloaf, food for misbehaving inmates, a.k.a. " a thick orange lump of spite with the density and taste of a dumbbell."
Apparently at wit's end, the CPD is now telling gangs to clean up their acts "
Mayor Daley reaffirmed his
everything-has-a-price strategy today by adding the Taste and Fleet Management to the list of leasable options, while also introducing the idea of allowing video rental machines and ATMs in city facilities ... for a fee, of course.
There's plenty of speculation about who will be the next mayor of Chicago but
if history is any guide, it won't be a current alderman.
If you live in his district,
there's a decent chance you have. Why? He makes more than 100 phone calls to constituents a day.
Rev up that second city chip on your shoulders gang!
Streetsblog New York looks at the public hazard of privatizing infrastructure--using our own ignoble parking meter privatization as a case study.
Blago gets the
animated treatment from Taiwan-based Next Media Limited studios. Just thank god they didn't show him shaking down a patient from Children's Memorial Hospital.
Rich Miller asks the question on everybody's mind today: Who is the lone juror who held out against convicting Rod Blagojevich on more than one federal charge? It seems like the ex-governor owes her a fruit basket...
After 14 days of deliberations, the former governor of Illinois is only charged for
lying to the FBI, a charge that carries a maximum of five years in jail and a $250k fine (prosecutors have until September 7 to decide if they want to retrial on the other 23 counts that the jury deadlocked on). Somewhere, Patrick Fitzgerald is stuffing his face with marshmallows.
In These Times has a feature on the anger brewing for Obama, Arne Duncan and the democrats within typically friendly waters: the national teachers unions.
The Chicago Justice Project today released a report on the sensationalized writing in the city's press, claiming that coverage of a huge new wave in violence this summer has been factually devoid.
The Beachwood Reporter has a
humorous list of counts the so-far deadlocked jury might agree on.
A Chicago-area atheist
is suing the state government and others over a $20,000 grant the state provided to the custodians of the Bald Knob Cross of Peace, a.k.a. the massive downstate cross.
In Mechanics, Timna Axel reports on
her undercover visit to the recent Americans for Truth Academy conference.
Blagojevich jurors have only
decided 2 of the 24 counts in the former governor's corruption trial.
The Reader's Ben Joravsky finds
the city has fewer policemen on the streets than it would appear.
American Indian Center of Chicago and Tabula Rosa are among the top 100 projects in Pepsi's "Refresh Everything" contest, and there are many more hoping to join them.
Employers in Illinois can
no longer run credit checks on job applicants, according to a new law signed by Gov. Quinn today. It's a rare bit of good news for unions.
They would probably elect
Pat Quinn, who's just been endorsed by the state's leading gay rights group, Equality Illinois.
Meet the Freeman Institute, a political consultancy
primarily working on pro-business political campaigns in Chicago. Their website makes their orientation startlingly clear: click on "Invited" to enter the full site; if you're one of the "Others," they ship you off to google.
Q: A federal judge in California
just overturned Prop 8, which banned same-sex marriages in the state, what are you going to do now? A: Go to a rally at Daley Plaza at 6pm, of course! Celebrants are encouraged to bring rainbow flags. (Thanks, Marc!)
Lisa Madigan writes on Huffington Post about Illinois' new law against predatory debt settlement companies, now supposedly the strongest in the nation.
Republican Senate candidate
Congressman Mark Kirk's newest doozy is that he singlehandedly established the unanimous Republican opposition to Obama's health care bill in the House.
made appointments to the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission over the weekend, clearing the way for more official investigations into police torture in the state.
Clergy and peace activists have teamed up to declare "
28 Days of Peace," a call for a citywide ceasefire which will end on August 28, the 55th anniversary of the day Emmitt Till was killed and the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. Considering the carnage this weekend, a month without violence may be a tad too ambitious.
Chicago has a
long and bloody union history, and it shows. According to a survey of America's ten largest cities, Chicago ranks second in the percentage of unionized workers. At 17.5 percent, we tie with Philly and stop short of New York City, where 22.3 percent of the work force is unionized.
$655 million deep, in fact, for the 2011 budget, which has a lot of people eying those TIF funds. Progress Illinois thinks that's not a bad idea, but Daley wants City Hall to think real hard before tapping that nest egg.
AP details a day in the federal government's deportation program by starting with a detention center in the suburbs and ending on a bridge between Texas and Mexico.
rallied in Chicago yesterday against Arizona's SB 1070, the same day a judge placed an injunction against many aspects of the law. Meanwhile, Fox News Chicago's Mike Flannery notes that Chicago has more undocumented immigrants than Arizona.
In 1997, Jesse Jackson Jr. was featured in People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue. Looks like he's still got it. From
Chicago magazine: "His career may be in the tank and his White House dreams shattered, but there's some good news for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. this week: He made The Hill's "50 Most Beautiful People 2010" list--even cracking the coveted top ten." Jackson came in at number nine, beating the Cosmo-famous Scott Brown.
The executive director of the Cook County Republican Party, Jeremy Rose, has
resigned amidst allegations of sexual misconduct. [ via]
Following a hearty breakfast, Chicago's
Better Government Association will host a debate over term limits this Wednesday. Professor Dick Simpson of UIC, who served as Chicago's 44th Ward Alderman for two terms before retiring in 1979, will argue in favor of term limits as a reasonable way to check power. Professor Emerita Dawn Netsch of Northwestern Law, who was in the Illinois State Senate before being elected State Comptroller in 1990, will argue against term limits as an arbitrary restriction on the ability of citizens to retain elected officials. Register here for $25.
In a massive
civil disobedience event, protesters rallying against Hyatt's anti-labor practices occupied Wacker Drive yesterday afternoon. But only 25 of the planned 200 demonstrators took arrest. Read our coverage here.
Gov. Quinn has signed
a bill into law that requires motorists to come to a complete stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks.
The City has already
spent most of the money it earned from the leases on the parking meters and Skyway. Fantastic. Further thoughts from The Expired Meter.
Chicago's best-known political street artist Ray Noland (a.k.a.
CRO) was interviewed by Art Slant Chicago's Abraham Ritchie while he passed out Blagojevich-themed cupcakes outside the courthouse during his trial.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's
draft of Go to 2040, a plan for the Chicago area's next three decades, is available to read online. You can leave your comments for CMAP on the plan's site through August 6.
Sarah Tofte of Human Rights Watch has penned a scathing article in The Huffington Post using her work from the first state-wide analysis of the rape kit backlog. The study found that the vast majority of DNA evidence collected from rape victims in Illinois is never tested. It might explain why the arrest rate for rape in Illinois of just 11 percent, half the national average.
In the wake of
a poll showing Mayor Daley's support is dropping, Dick Simpson offers some tips on how he could be challenged in the next election -- if anyone would step up.
In the latest installment of president-tracking, Obama will vacation with family to Maine. But more importantly, is the presidential family
cursed by a "travel hex?" And is Obama taking too much time off?
According to a new study,
rents in Chicago are going down again this year, as they have been since 2007. But don't get any funny ideas -- demand for affordable housing still far outstrips supply in this city.
Residents of a Lakeview high rise that has long provided affordable housing
may be forced to relocate if their rents rise to market rates.
Ald. Shiller is trying to
undo the liquor sales moratorium around the corner of Broadway and Wilson, one of the less savory areas of Uptown.
Is the forthcoming race for Illinois's senate seat a "
race between the worst candidates ever?"
Today marks the start of
Andersonville's Green Week, with seven days of cool and informative activities for residents and shoppers. Events include t-shirt recycling, shopping discounts, LEED home tours, eco-storybook making, free stuff, and more.
Chicago Young Republicans held a fundraiser and networking event on Friday -- and Time Out was there.
Yesterday members of Congress held a field hearing on the proposed
Comcast-NBCU merger, a deal which could have drastic consequences for Chicago's media ecosystem. Find out why you should care in Part 2 of our series in Mechanics.
Chicago is in a "
foreclosure epidemic," says a local writer -- but citizens are fighting back.
Over at the Chicago Reader, Mick Dumke
says everybody's favorite Windy City villain benefits from the new gun control law. (OK, maybe Mayor Daley is everybody's second favorite Chicago villain, after Blago.)
Meet Pete Cullen, the FBI agent in charge of the Blagojevich wiretaps.
Fox Chicago drew heavy fire after suggesting that Chicago's public libraries are a useless waste of tax dollars. The response, a fiery 1000-word letter from Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary A. Dempsey, is well worth reading.
Mayor Daley has already
introduced new gun control proposals following the recent Supreme Court decision. For more background on the decision, including an interview with the lead plaintiff and an expert panel, check out WBEZ's Tuesday episode of 848.
Senate candidate Congressman
Mark Kirk apologized Tuesday for the many "misstatements" and factual errors in his official bio, nearly a month after news of his exaggerated military record broke.
Obama toasted with a Goose Island 312 in a photo op with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the G-20 summit.
Big news out of the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse: former Chicago Police commander Jon Burge was
found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice in connection a number of allegations of torture from decades past.
According to a new report by
Roosevelt University's Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy, there are more emergency room cases of heroin in and around Chicago than in any other major city. Other findings here.
In a 5-4
decision upholding the challenge to Chicago's 30-year gun ban, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the Second Amendment right to bear arms "applies equally to the federal government and the states." Meanwhile, 26 people across Chicago were shot this weekend. More from the Reader.
If you just so happen to be in the
Wisconsin area next Wednesday you'll catch President Barack Obama.
. . . in "Absentee Ballot" doesn't stand for
absence of ethics.
Remember those reports
about Walmart wanting to invade Chicago? Today it unveiled its plan to build dozens of stores over the next five years through what it's calling the "Chicago Community Investment Partnership." Here's the press release.
The cafeteria in the Dirksen Federal Building offered a special today: "
The Innocent, aka Blago." Too bad we already had lunch.
Rainforest Action Network and local artists are working with community groups in Little Village and Pilsen to alert residents about the dangers of area coal-fired power plants. This volley: warning street signs.
Bill Brady thinks he could beat Obama if the president were running for Illinois governor right now.
Speaking of where Chicago ends, a 12-acre illegal dump site in
Markham has yielded more than 25,000 tires. Maybe the state should burn the tires as a green fuel...
GLAAD is launching a Chicago leadership council to help monitor issues and support local advocacy efforts.
As the election season grows closer,
Crain's assesses Daley's performance as mayor since 1989. Be sure to check out the charts and graphs to get a fuller picture.
Edna Stewart, owner of the legendary Edna's Restaurant on the West Side,
passed away on Friday. For background about Stewart, her restaurant and her role in the civil rights movement, check out this interview from the Southern Foodways Alliance Oral History Project.
The BP Bridge in Millennium Park was closed --
supposedly because of the Blackhawks parade several blocks away -- but the oil spill protesters held their flash mob anyway.
Berwyn's Mayor Robert J. Lovero has been in office for a year, here's your opportunity to read what he thinks about.
Today U.S. District Judge Zagel asked Blagojevich
to restrain his gestures while in the courtroom. I wonder if the same goes for his hair.
A silent protest against the BP oil spill is being planned for this Friday
in Millennium Park. Details in Facebook.
The Tribune has created
an interactive special section that maps out the timeline of the Blagojevich case thus far.
Congressman and senatorial candidate Mark Kirk is
building his reputation -- though not for what he probably what he'd prefer. MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" pulled together clips of some of his less-than-true statements last night.
Apparently Republican Senate candidate
Mark Kirk's excuse that he "misremembered" his military service wouldn't fly with an English professor at Prairie State College.
The Blagojeviches and their publicist have all
taken their defense to Twitter recently, tweeting Rod's innocence from within the courtroom and beyond. Follow Rod, Patti and Glenn Selig.
Does Blagojevich ever turn down a photo opp?
No. Even in the face of a home court advantage.
More Blago! The folks at the
Christian Science Monitor provide an interesting, if not succinct, look at the Rod Blagojevich trial. They ask if Blago will try to turn the justice system into a circus. If anyone has been paying attention, the answer is a clear one.
On the eve of his court battle to fight
federal corruption charges, former governor Rod Blagojevich went for a jog in his Ravenswood neighborhood and big-timed a kickball league.
The McCormick Foundation
started a contest today to promote the McCormick Freedom Project: Find a story on GB or our online counterparts that relates to one of our First Amendment rights, and tweet a link to it along with the hashtag #1amend. It'll enter you in a contest to win an iPad!
The Cook County Board voted to
boycott Arizona businesses in response the state's new immigration law -- but not before signing a contract with Scottsdale-based American Traffic Solutions for 20 more red light cameras.
Is Congressman Mark Kirk gay?
One gay activist says yes, and tells how he found out. [ via]
Hyde Park Urbanist commemorates the unlikely occasion of it being a year since an alderman has been indicted.
On June 9, Ald. Scott Waguespack plans to
introduce an ordinance allowing food trucks of the sort that roam LA and New York. He made the announcement at a National Restaurant Association panel discussing food truck culture.
Illinois ranks 47th out of 51 in Daily Beast's confusingly numbered list of the
Most Corrupt States. (You see, it goes from cleanest down to dirtiest, and includes DC.)
With President Obama and the First Lady in town this weekend for a visit and for
a speech at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, the Trib is starting to wonder about where they'll go in their free time.
Thirteen gay activists from the LGBT equality group
Join the Impact were arrested at Sen. Dick Durbin's office yesterday, demanding he do more to pass the Employee Non-Discrimination Act.
Chicago Reporter takes a look at the Committee on Housing and Real Estate's decision to offer one year leases on 42 units and wonders if the shift indicates a change in city housing policy.
Should recording a police officer doing his or her job in a public space be illegal under Illinois' eavesdropping law? No,
says Reason's Radley Balko.
Oddest bit of tape you'll hear today: Mayor Daley threatening to put a gun up a reporter's butt.
breaks down how the city spends TIF funds, ward by ward. This is the latest in their long-running series of investigations into possible misuses of these "shadow budget" funds.
Chicago Housing Authority has issued eviction notices [PDF] to the 31 remaining households of the Cabrini-Green high-rise 1230 N. Larrabee. Note: Contrary to ABC7's report, the building is not the last standing Cabrini Green high-rise.
Perhaps you've reached
Bayless saturation by now, but the official White House dinner press release is actually a pretty interesting read.
Chicagoist tap into
their inner pop-punk rockers to comment on the revelations of Blagojevich's legal strategy.
Caleb Howe, the right-wing blogger who recently
trolled Roger Ebert on Twitter, writes on Mediaite about why he did it, and comes close to apologizing for it. (Thanks, Glenn!)
Chicago politicians spent $350,000 on Chicago sports teams in 2009 the Chicago Current
The deportations carried out in Broadview are pretty
Fair housing activists are fighting to
keep Carol Vialdores and her children in their Rogers Park apartment.
The $6.1 million left over from donations to the Chicago Olympic bid is funding
World Sport Chicago's programs for inner-city kids. As the Sun-Times quips: "World Sport Chicago is the only remaining legacy of Daley's Olympic quest."
new scandal congealing in his soon-to-end administration, Todd Stroger has had his ability to hire, fire, promote, and raise wages limited by the Cook County Board. His response: "I'm riddled; I have more holes in me than Swiss cheese."
It's up to Gov. Quinn to decide whether or not hair braiders need to spend 1,500 hours and $15,000 to braid hair.
Were U.S. Congressional candidate
Ben Lowe and his friends pulled over by the Cicero Police Department for driving while appearing to be "Hispanic"?
Another protest is to take place today at Wrigley Field as the Cubs take on the Diamondbacks. This time, though, it's about Arizona's new immigration law and the D-Backs' alleged ties to the Republican Party. UPDATE: Chicagoist has photos of the protest.
Given the tense political environment, it's hard to believe it took so long
for concerns to be publicly aired about political motivations regarding the collapse of Broadway Bank.
State Rep. Deb Mell, daughter of Alderman Richard Mell, would like to not have to travel to Iowa to marry her fiancée, Christin Baker. She's introduced legislation to add Illinois to the list of states where same sex marriage is legal.
Judy Woodruff made a wisecrack in her introduction of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel today at the Global Cities Forum. But
most reports have Emanuel's response wrong.
According to some
recently crunched numbers on Chicago's demographics, from 2000 to 2008, Chicago's African American population dropped while the suburban African American population grew. The 2010 census data may show an even greater exodus.
Craigslist continues to get itself into hot water over sex oriented advertisements around the country. Here, the state's Attorney General's office is keeping a particularly close eye on the site, tabulating more than 200,000 Chicago sex ads in just over two years.
Whether or not the feasibility of a potential
Mayor Rahm has you scratching your noggin, the Tribune compiled a list of interesting facts about the former ballet dancer turned White House chief of staff.
Now that the city's
2016 Olympic bid is long in the tank, New City checks in on the bid's legacy.
The Illinois State Board of Elections launched its
new website today, with some nice new features.
Illinois Muslim Action Day, and local Muslim youth are heading to Springfield in hopes of getting the attention of state politicians.
There's a demonstration happening in Springfield today, and
Chicagoans can watch it stream live starting at 11am.
@MayorDaley: "Check back later this afternoon for news regarding Rahm Emanuel." Stay tuned... UPDATE: Ooh! Da Mayor played us! Emanuel will be speaking at the Global Cities Forum next week.
a little creative editing, courtesy of street artist Nick Adam.
So now Rahm Emanuel says
he want to be mayor of Chicago. Jeez, Rahm, does make up your mind.
The City is examining privatizing the water system, and
lots of folks are none too pleased. If you're one of them, there's a meeting tonight you may want to attend.
The Verban Memorial Society, a bipartisan group in D.C. dedicated to supporting the Cubs,
has inducted White Sox fan President Obama into its ranks. "'I know it will be hard for him to accept this accolade,' Mr. Durbin said. 'It's like telling him he was elected to the board of directors of the Republican National Committee.' Conservative columnist George Will, a Verban stalwart, says the president ought to embrace his induction. 'Diversity,' he says. 'It's a great liberal value.'"
Citizens Against Government Waste says that Illinois ranks 44th in federal pork per person. With a total of $191.6 million in projects, the state gets $14.84 for each of us.
While the Supreme Court
may be losing a Chicagoan, at least two of the contenders for his replacement have Chicago connections. Merrick B. Garland is from the region, and Diane P. Wood is currently a judge on Chicago's United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Chicago architectural icon had a dream: an America
covered with "little villages" all connected by super highways as an alternative to "megacities." It, uh... it didn't go over well.
Chicago GOP website currently features a photo of a topless woman, illustrating a post about Democratic "job creation" through women getting memoirs based on their affairs. (NSFW, obviously.) More details on WindyCitizen.
The Obamas' have some
new neighbors moving in next door. The Kenwood mansion sold for a paltry $1.4 million.
Now that Blago doesn't get a portrait in the State House,
Chicago magazine wants you to make one.
The 50 Aldermen/50 Artists Project closes this Friday, but if you haven't seen it, fear not: the Reader has a gallery of all 50 portraits. Plus a quiz.
Daley's not the only one with his own secret fund.
Alderman Bernie Stone has one too, through his position as vice mayor -- an "unpaid" position.
The new "grid" based street sweeping plan would mean
dirtier streets and more difficult parking, Aldermen Joe Moore and Vi Daley say. It also takes the sweepers out of aldermanic control. A special City Council session is scheduled for Wednesday to discuss the plan.
recent visit to an Iowa City bookstore shows the President's kind of nerdy. [ via]
Chicago Public Radio's Sam Hudzik explains how this whole
lieutenant governor picking process works.
Sun-Times and Trib are reporting that Sheila Simon will be Gov. Quinn's choice for running mate.
The health care bill
got Obama's signature today, and county health officials and random local people are bracing for the changes it will enact. Tell us how you feel in Fuel.
While everyone is discussing healthcare,
the Illinois House is clearing the way for four-day school weeks to reduce government spending.
This morning NBCChicago.com launched
Ward Room, a new political blog featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jack Higgins and author and occasional GB contributor Ted McClelland.
The Chicago Alderman Project has gotten
a ton of coverage, so Friday night's opening at Johalla Projects is likely to be a madhouse. Get there early! Here's a sneak peek at a couple pieces.
The Supreme Court
may be reassessing its position on the closure of the O'Brien Lock and Dam and the Chicago Controlling Works during its private conference on Friday.
runs down various efforts area municipalities are making to plug huge budget shortfalls.
Daniel X. O'Neil,
Everyblock people person and former GB staffer, dug through the city's January 2010 Landmark Building Permits and uncovered detailed information about the Wrigley Field renovation, including renovation of the scoreboard, bathrooms and other changes. He also put the entire permit list into CSV format for your use.
It doesn't look like there will be any tremendous changes for red-light cameras, but the state Senate's
Transportation Committee unanimously sent a bill to the floor that will curtail some of the more irritating aspects of the cameras.
Chicago Teachers Union is finding itself in an interesting political game with State Sen. Heather Steans, a charter school supporter. Steans is pushing for the elimination of the residency requirement for CPS teachers as a quid pro quo for earlier union concessions.
Here's an interesting clip of the original Mayor Daley on from August 5, 1956. Watch till the end when host John Daly offers a hilarious/discomforting comment about one of our fair city's talents. What's My Line
Chicagoans will now have the opportunity to be shocked
by 380 new Tasers. The announcement nearly immediately follows the death of a southwestern suburban man who was Tased by Midlothian police officers.
The Trib proclaims "
Quinn wants 33% tax hike" on its front page, while the Sun-Times opts for " Quinn calls for raising income tax to 4 percent." Ah, politics. (Note that the links reference articles with slightly longer titles.)
Our own Ramsin Canon appears on WBEZ's second
Lunchbox web talkshow Wednesday at noon, along with Dan Sinker, Marcus Gilmer, Anna Tarkov and Mike Fourcher. They'll be delivering live commentary on Gov. Quinn's budget speech. Tune in!
Republican and Democrat Gubernatorial candidates chosen from the primaries ( well, barely), Green candidate, Rich Whitney (a former journalist) has a bone to pick with how the race is being covered.
Well, he has another reason to dislike the home of Obama and Daley: a Chicago federal judge
allowed a case against Rumsfeld to proceed that will explore his role in setting detainee handling policies in Iraq.
Well, here are
a couple of reviews, including highlights involving "testicular virility" and Thomas Jefferson.
Demolition enthusiasts will appreciate Noah Vaughn's latest post about the
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's Sludge Disposal Building removal.
Lee Bey bids farewell to the CPD's M license plate
with some references to it in popular culture.
35th Ward Alderman Rey Colon would like to think so. Check out
his entry about his commitment to art on Studio Chicago's blog.
Rod Blagojevich will
discuss political ethics at Northwestern on March 2.
two best friends from Chicago around to share the good times. You know, like when he wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
If you think you've got what it takes to be an alderman,
consider applying for the job: Mayor Daley has posted a help wanted ad to fill the 1st and 29th Ward seats left open (for very different reasons) by Manny Flores and Ike Carothers. UPDATE: We've got a leak of the intake application in Mechanics!
We all know that the recent primary had low voter turnout, but that turnout was far from evenly distributed. The Chicago Reporter
highlights some outlying polling sites and wards.
Steve Rhodes wonders how soon we'll be seeing the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Jason Plummer, drop out of the race amid questions about his past.
Did you know
Cook County's check register is online and searchable? It's part of the Open County Initiative. (The Current noticed last week that not everything was immediately available as promised.)
Evan Miller makes a case for the embattled "wife-abusing hooker-dating roid-raging pawnbroker who spent two million dollars of his own money to be the next lieutenant governor of Illinois." [ via]
Mayor Daley went off message at the 16th Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards and
lamented the fact that there aren't more anti-war protests on the streets of Chicago.
Transmission, we take a look back on the brief life of Sam Cooke and his contributions to not only Chicago's musical history, but that of the Civil Rights Movement as well.
Gail Collins of The New York Times
compares Illinois to New York, asking whose political culture is the worst.
Finance Committee Chairman Edward Burke
drafted a citywide ban of Styrofoam today. If approved by City Council, Chicago Public Schools will have to find another way to serve lunch.
The Chicago City Council
may vote today to confer landmark status to 6140 S. Rhodes Avenue. The house was owned by Carl Hansberry, a prominent progressive African American businessman and father of playwright Lorraine Hansberry. A court case related to his ownership of the building ultimately struck down one form of racially restrictive covenants.
A Bensenville cemetery whose graves date as far back as 1849 will be
relocated to build a new runway at O'Hare. Here's hoping they, uh, get all of them out.
Now that Scott Lee Cohen
is out of the lieutenant governor race, WBEZ has provided a little background about the process to replace him.
Rich Miller reports that Scott Lee Cohen will possibly
drop out of the race for lieutenant governor tonight. UPDATE: Cohen is out -- and chose to announce during the Super Bowl halftime.
Sen. Durbin will
chair Alexi Giannoulias's senate campaign.
Waterless urinals that were installed as part of a plan to make City Hall more "green"
were removed when the stench of urine corroding the copper pipes made the second floor smell less than rosy. When this happened to five O'Hare urinals in 2005 it cost $20,000.
Former Illinois Senator
Adlai Stevenson III would run as an independent if he were in Governor Quinn's shoes.
In case you missed it last night, here's Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor
Scott Lee Cohen and his ex-wife's appearance on "Chicago Tonight" answering questions about his domestic battery charge and other allegations. Steve Rhodes has some thoughts on the scandal.
Man this really isn't a good day for Scott Lee Cohen...or Democratic voters...
Turns out Scott Lee Cohen "allegedly abused steroids."
Blago was re-indicted
today on corruption charges. The move is meant to stop Blago from delaying the U.S. Supreme Court's upcoming ruling on his case.
Pawnbroker, shrewd media operator,
defendant in a domestic battery case involving a knife and the throat of a convicted prostitute and now...the Democratic candidate for Illinois' Lieutenant Governor. UPDATE: The gov has something to say about the issue.
Dan Hynes has
conceded the governor's race, making current Governor Pat Quinn the democratic nominee.
It's hard to believe that yet another East Chicago mayor has
run afoul of the law, but George Pabey may have done just that. This time the indictment involves city employees working on his Miller Beach house.
Foreclosed homes made for
convenient billboards for the primaries, Chicago Muckrakers discovered.
If you didn't vote yesterday, that is. Voter turnout in Chicago and the state in general was "
From 7 to 10pm tonight, Chicago Public Radio will be running a
group liveblog commenting on the primary election results in addition to its on-air coverage. GB's Andrew Huff and Ramsin Canon will be on at 7-8pm and 9-10pm, respectively, and plenty of other Chicago personalities and pundits -- as well as the candidates -- will be popping in. Tune in!
Snow, schmow! Voting for today's elections runs from 6am to 7pm. You can find your polling place, registration status and a lot more resources here.
The Trib has an interesting interactive primary ballot builder feature in their "
Election Center" right now. Before you head out to vote tomorrow (and you can find out where your polling location is, too) check it out. You can print, email, or share your ballot selections online.
Not that you need another reason to vote in
Chicago's elections Tuesday, but Challengers Comics offers a 15% Civic Duty Discount to to anyone who can present a voter receipt.
Jacob Meister has
dropped out of the race for the Democratic senate nomination.
A slap on the wrist for 'Fast Eddie'
wasn't enough for two out of three appeals court judges.
If you're looking for some help in deciding on who will get your vote in this Tuesday's
election, here is some help from the Sun-Times, the Trib, Vote for Judges, Chicago Bar Association, the Independent Voters of Illinois, the Chicago Federation of Labor, Crain's, and finally, further coverage from the Reader and Windy City Times. Good luck.
The Sun-Times reports that
Ald. Ike Carothers is expected to plead guilty to bribery charges on Monday.
A former mayor of Indianapolis turned Harvard professor looks at Chicago's parking meter privatization and says it's a
good deal no matter what the public thinks. (Further comments here.)
Chicago State didn't have enough problems, State Representative Monique Davis and the institution have some explaining to do after a $25,000 sculpture owned by the school ended up in her office.
The north-south leg of Wacker Drive will get
an overhaul over the next three years, after which automotive and pedestrian traffic should move more efficiently. The state estimates 4,000 jobs will be created by the project.
According to the
Civic Federation, Illinois will be $12.8 billion in the hole by 2011. A Crain's blogger puts that into perspective: one thousand dollars of debt for every man woman and child.
CNBC has a
nice overview of the 10th and 14th Illinois Congressional District races including who the candidates are, the main issues under debate, and how each candidate is doing.
Lech Walesa, Polish Solidarity Movement leader, will be in Chicago next Friday to speak at a fundraising luncheon for Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski.
Speaker of the House Michael Madigan's "day job" is as a property tax lawyer. The Trib finds that
his two gigs often intersect.
This Saturday, several of Chicago's beloved bakeries and celebrated sweet shops will join forces for a
charity bake sale, hosted by Medici on 57th. All proceeds will be donated to Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam for their ongoing relief efforts in Haiti.
The devastation in Haiti has lots of people thinking about volunteerism. The recently formed
International Volunteer Network of Chicago is holding a kickoff networking event Feb. 3; put it on your calendar!
The minute hand of the
Doomsday Clock will be moved tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM Central time. Watch it on-line at TurnBackTheClock.org. [ via]
WBEZ will be
live-blogging the State of the State address at noon today, with several guest commentators (including me).
Rahm Emanuel has
no intention to run for mayor against Daley, Lynn Sweet reports. ( Previously.)
Senator Burris' tenure may not be something you wish to dwell on, but he does represent our state in the 111th US Congress. We're a year in and the WBEZ blog has a
Today is the first day of
early voting in the Illinois primary. The Tribune's Election Center has plenty of resources to help you vote, including a handy ballot builder to act as a cheat sheet at the polls Feb. 2.
The Supreme Court will hear a lawsuit against the City of Chicago next month which will determine whether local governments can legally ban ownership of handguns. Chicago Mag recently
discussed the case and profiled the plaintiffs, who may not be what you'd expect.
Rod Blagojevich talked at length to Esquire's Scott Raab, variously comparing himself to Galileo, Mordecai in the legend of Purim, and Robin Hood -- and claiming he's blacker than Obama. (He's already apologized for that. Further thoughts in Mechanics.)
"If you're going to steal, at least steal the joke," says Schadenfreude's Stephen Schmidt, after Jim Dodge
used part of one of the comedy troupe's Judy Baar Topinka skits without permission in a campaign ad slamming his Republican opponents for state comptroller.
Windy Citizen's Brad Flora is meeting with ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich this afternoon.
He's soliciting questions you'd like to see Blago answer. UPDATE: Here's an account of the encounter.
Early voting begins Monday for the February 2nd primary. Voting centers are open to cast an early ballot through the 28th. According to Crain's, "All statewide offices starting with governor are on the ballot. So is President Barack Obama's old Senate seat."
Wonder where Cook County's share of the economic stimulus money has been allocated?
Pro Publica has a breakdown. [