TGIF, Illinois. And wishing happy holidays and moist brisket to all those who will be celebrating the start of Passover this weekend. Without census numbers to understand how the state’s population has changed and shifted, some Illinois lawmakers and redistricting watchers are relying on the American Community Survey (ACS) to gauge how to redraw legislative
TGIF, Illinois. And wishing happy holidays and moist brisket to all those who will be celebrating the start of Passover this weekend.
Without census numbers to understand how the state’s population has changed and shifted, some Illinois lawmakers and redistricting watchers are relying on the American Community Survey (ACS) to gauge how to redraw legislative and congressional districts. Senate President Don Harmon is among them.
ACS numbers aren’t recent and likely don’t include the hard-to-reach communities that filled out the census in 2020. But they’re something to start with, says political consultant Frank Calabrese, who’s created a map that shows population growth by state House district.
His research of ACS data shows population increases on Chicago’s North Side but declines on the South and West sides. And while there were some upticks in the northern suburbs of Chicago, downstate Illinois saw a decrease in population, according to the 2018 data. Calabrese says 2019 figures, which were released in January, aren’t yet as easily accessible.
Districts on the rise: Rep. Kam Buckner’s 26th District, which includes the Gold Coast and the Lakeshore East development — new since the 2010 census — has seen a 6 percent population increase. Rep. Ann Williams’ Lincoln Park-area district swelled by 10 percent. And the Andersonville neighborhood represented by House Majority Leader Greg Harris saw a population increase of 6 percent.
Republican-led districts in the Chicago metro area also saw population growth. Rep. Mark Batinick’s 97th District is up 10 percent, and Rep. Dan Ugaste’s 65th District rose 7 percent.
Districts showing declines: Democratic Reps. Maurice West’s 67th District in Rockford, Bob Rita’s 28th District on the far South Side, and Jay Hoffman’s 113th District in the Metro East area, all lost about 5 percent in population.
First-term Republican Rep. Patrick Windhorst, whose 118th District is in southern Illinois, also saw population drop 5 percent from 2010 to 2018. And so did the western Illinois area represented by Republican Rep. Noreen Hammond in the 93rd District.
Congressional comparisons: The legislative population shifts mirror what’s happening in congressional seats, too, Calabrese says. Rep. Mike Quigley and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who represent Chicago’s North Side, saw their districts increase population while Rep. Robin Kelly on the far South Side and Rep. Cheri Bustos, whose district includes Rockford, saw population declines.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot suggested Thursday that there is yet another instance of Loretto Hospital officials giving out vaccines to VIPs, and she called for an independent investigation “to determine the specific uses of every dose they’ve been allocated.”
A few hours after her phone call with reporters, news broke that 28 members of a Greek church near Loretto also received vaccines even though they weren’t eligible to do so, reports WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.
The mayor and the city’s Department of Public Health are no longer letting Loretto dole out initial doses of the vaccine in wake of news reports that it’s been administering them to people not yet qualified to receive them (those who got their first shot there can go back for round two, however). First doses will now go to Rush Hospital instead.
SEIU criticized the move Thursday, saying in a statement that it’s concerned that Loretto’s frontline workers and Austin neighborhood residents will be put in jeopardy without those vaccines.
And there’s a new twist to this scandal. In December, the hospital considered opening a dialysis clinic with the business partner of ousted hospital executive Anosh Ahmed. Plans for the $2 million facility were ultimately scrapped. And the hospital did not know then that Ahmed was connected to the man who was behind the project, reports Sun-Times’ Brett Chase.
Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]
At Kennedy King College at 12:30 p.m. for the Illinois Black Caucus economic pillar announcement.
At Kennedy King College at 12:30 p.m. for the Illinois Black Caucus economic pillar announcement.
No official public events.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 35 additional deaths and 2,190 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 21,171 fatalities and 1,229,898 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from March 18-24 is 2.7 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 3.4 percent.
— What’s driving the rise in Covid cases in Chicago? Data points to one age group: Younger adults: “Metrics in both Chicago and Illinois are beginning to show ‘signs of concern’ as case numbers and positivity rates start to increase,” by NBC/5.
— Illinois prisons are Covid hotspots. So why have only 27% of workers taken the vaccine? “Prisons present enormously dangerous environments [for COVID-19]. You have a lot of people in close contact with an inability to social distance,” said Jennifer Vollen-Katz, the leader of the independent prison watchdog the John Howard Association. WBEZ’s Patrick Smith reports.
— Rivian to use U of I’s Covid test in its Illinois plant: “The Amazon-backed electric vehicle maker donated $500,000 to help launch a COVID-19 testing lab near its facility in Normal,” by Crain’s Jon Asplund.
— Proud Boy who was present for Capitol riot planning run for Illinois Senate: “Edgar ‘Remy Del Toro’ Gonzalez told the Sun-Times that he’s collecting signatures to challenge state Sen. Antonio Munoz, D-1st, in his reelection bid next year,” by Tom Schuba.
— Town supervisor is out and off April 6 ballot in wake of embezzlement charges: Plainfield Township Supervisor Anthony Fremarek has resigned and will be removed from the ballot in the April 6 election in wake of federal charges last year that he embezzled from his employer. “Fremarek, 49, was arrested by the U.S. Secret Service earlier this year after he allegedly took $1.4 million over six years from a technology consulting company in Schaumburg to fund personnel expenses, including payments on his credit cards without authorization,” reports The Times’ Weekly’s Madhu Mayer.
— COVID RESTRICTIONS LOOSENED for baseball, outdoor dining, exercise classes, performance venues, weddings and more: “Citing a worrying increase in coronavirus cases, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she will keep current capacity limits at indoor establishments. But bars and restaurants can now increase their maximum outdoor table size to 10 people, with tables set up so that patrons are 6 feet from patrons at other tables, the city said,” by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt, Alice Yin and Nick Kindelsperger.
…Tallying it up: Chicago issued fines to restaurants, bars, while suburban counties gave warnings: “Lax suburban enforcement may have created an uneven playing field, as some bar and restaurant owners suffered greater financial harm if they strictly followed public health guidelines while competitors took a speak-easy approach and remained furtively open in violation of the rules,” the Tribune reports in a six-byline analysis.
— Lightfoot: I won’t ‘outsource’ control of CPD: “The mayor insisted she’s not abandoning reform and still backs “a form of” civilian oversight of the Chicago Police Department. But she opposes a compromise plan that would impose a vastly different version of civilian control,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Police officer injured in shoot-out: A shoplifting suspect who shot at Chicago police is dead, and a police officer and a security worker were hospitalized in an incident that broke out Thursday afternoon at Home Depot on the city’s Southwest Side, authorities said. It’s the fourth time in 11 days that a Chicago cop has been shot.
— As 21-person elected school board bill gains momentum, by Lightfoot is opposed: “That hasn’t stopped the bill from passing a key committee this week and heading to the House floor. But Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s opposition, which some suggest helped derail previous versions of the bill, has encouraged opponents to push for a compromise proposal, to reduce the size of the elected board or seek a hybrid model,” by Chalkbeat’s Cassie Walker Burke.
— After Agassiz School is renamed Harriet Tubman, CPS considers other buildings named after slaveholders: “The name change, if only centering on the name change, will only be cosmetic if it doesn’t improve the student experience,” CPS Chief Equity Officer Maurice Swinney said. “… We realized as an equity team, it is important we listen to those who have institutional memory, those most impacted, which include students and families and those responsible for implementation, meaning the people who work at the school.” Tribune’s Hannah Leone reports.
— Resolution urges changing council members’ title from ‘alderman’ to just ‘alder’: “Rookie Ald. Andre Vasquez, a former battle rapper known for his homophobic and misogynistic lyrics, says he’s making up for past misbehavior, and his move to create a gender-neutral title is part of that,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Goose Island property sells for $100M: “The warehouse and office building purchase is the city’s biggest commercial property sale so far this year,” by Crain’s Danny Ecker.
— Sister Jean thinks Loyola has what it takes to go all the way: “As the 101-year-old chaplain for the Loyola men’s basketball team, Sister Jean said she writes the team an email before and after every game, explaining what players can expect and detailing some areas to improve upon,” by Sun-Times’ Mari Devereaux.
— More than 1,000 Illinois prisoners to be released under Covid-19 lawsuit settlement: “The Illinois Department of Corrections will identify medically vulnerable and elderly prisoners eligible for early release or electronic home monitoring,” by Sun-Times’ Sophie Sherry.
— We knew it would be bad: A new study says Illinois lost more than $1 billion in transportation revenue because of the pandemic. Before Covid-19 hit, the state doubled the motor fuel tax rate, which would have generated $2.5 billion per year for the state and local municipalities. Instead, Illinois saw $1.3 billion in annual MFT revenue, according to the non-partisan Illinois Economic Policy Institute. The transit stats are equally startling, showing reductions between 68 percent for Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) buses and 100 percent for Metra rail.
— New jobless claims fall sharply as unemployment rate drops: “The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that 15,595 Illinois workers filed initial claims for regular unemployment benefits during the week that ended March 20. And while that number would normally be considered high, it was down 78 percent from the week before. It was down 88 percent from the same week a year ago, at the start of the pandemic, when more than 126,000 people filed first-time claims,” by Capitol News’ Peter Hancock.
… Illinois Department Of Employment Security acting director talks about what’s broken and how to fix it: “Kristin Richards said the [IDES] call center is the major priority for IDES right now. ‘We’re doing everything now through the lens of, how do we increase that productivity?’” she told CBS/2’s Tara Molina.
Greatest dip in attendance during pandemic: “Among 25 suburban districts surveyed by WBEZ, wealthier districts were less likely to see drops in attendance last fall than poorer ones,” by WBEZ’s Susie An.
FUNDRAISING EVENTS: The latest list of political events shows Republicans continue to ramp up fundraising.
PRITZKER ISSUES A VETO: “The Illinois Senate passed a bill Thursday to allow victims in personal injury and wrongful-death cases that reach a verdict to collect interest on money they receive from court, with the intent of incentivizing settlements.Gov. J.B. Pritzker vetoed an earlier version of the bill that was approved by both chambers in the January lame duck session,” by Capitol News’ Sarah Mansur.
— Lawmaking isn’t always pretty: The House has a long list of bills on its status sheet to handle today, the last day to move legislation out of the Rules Committee so they can be considered in the remainder of the session. It’s also the last day before lawmakers head out for a spring break. They return April 12. They’re bleary eyed zooming into committee hearings. Did someone really walk by the computer screen without pants, as blogger Rich Miller reported? Yes, lawmakers told Playbook. And it wasn’t pretty.
— Bill would include electronic communication in restraining orders: “Under current law, no-contact orders only ban in-person contact between two people. Senate Bill 1677 would mean any electronic contact such as texts, email, or social media would violate a no-contact order,” by ABC/20’s Jakob Emerson.
— Sales tax holiday proposed: Rep. Katie Stuart’s legislation would lower the sales tax on clothing and school supplies for a designated week in August, reports The Telegraph.
— Why Rep. Stadelman wants to save local news: The former TV news anchor and reporter in Rockford is proposing a bill to find ways to preserve and restore news coverage in small communities. “As a former journalist and news anchor, I know how important it is to have access to truly local news,” he said in a statement. Media reporter Robert Feder reports.
— Chicago man sues city claiming he’s been detained dozens of times on warrant for a man with same name: “The constant worry, fear and harassment about being stopped in public has devastated him, damaging his relationships with his family, affecting his work because of background checks and even leading him to consider taking his own life,” write the Tribune’s Annie Sweeney and Dan Hinkel.
— Wrongful death settlement — In a pipe repair worker’s death, questions of safety still swirl: Bartlett-based Benchmark Construction Co., the Village of Streamwood, and two other companies have agreed to pay $3 million to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit brought on behalf of 22-year-old Brett Morrow, who fell 20 feet underground while trying to repair a 24-inch diameter sewer pipe by lining it with a plastic sleeve. While all of the defendants in the lawsuit deny responsibility for Morrow’s death, the settlement could spur closer examination of cured-in-place pipe technology, reports Undark , an independent digital magazine.
A luncheon fundraiser for state Sen. Michael Hastings, who’s running for Illinois secretary of state, drew a notable crowd to Smith and Wollensky in Chicago. Spotted behind the masks: Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th), Biden SuperPac Chairman Mark Doyle, former Illinois House Majority Leader Lou Lang, former state Sen. Mike Jacobs, lobbyists Lissa Druss, Ted Brunsvold, Jay Keller, Onnalee Kelley, and Artie Miller, former Asian-American Advisory Council President Moses Shang, and Orland Hills Mayor Kyle Hastings (aka Mike’s dad). The event was hosted by Liz Nicholson, whose firm is leading fundraising efforts for Hastings.
— Biden meets the press and the pandemic disappears, by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar
— MAGA World says Biden’s lost it. Republican senators disagree, by POLITICO’s Olivia Beavers
— Filibuster fight bears down on Schumer, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine
— Abortion rights groups sit out filibuster fight, fearing GOP’s potential use, by POLITICO’s Alice Miranda Ollstein
— Trump’s secret sit-down with Ohio candidates turns into ‘Hunger Games,’ by POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt
Roger Hildebrand, U. of C. scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project, dead at 98: “He was awed to work with Enrico Fermi, saying he seemed to excel at everything,” by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell.
— Sunday at 10 a.m.: “The Restore Maine Township” Democratic Slate hosts a virtual coffee hour with candidates Kelly Maron Horvath, Kimberly Jones, Jim Maher and Asif Malik.
THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Jasculca Terman Strategic comms vice chairman Jim Terman, attorney Drew Beres, and data analyst and Daily Line founder Jimm Dispensa for correctly answering that Chicago at one time had 70 aldermen on the City Council.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Which Chicago golf course was designed by the same person who designed New York’s Central Park? Email to [email protected].
Today: Illinois Department of Revenue Director David Harris, Max Frankel, senior policy adviser to Rep. Mike Quigley; PR pro David Rosenberg, Macy’s media relations VP Andrea Schwartz, maritime writer Mary Ann O’Rourke, journalist Michael Sean Comerford, and Caren Street, chief of staff to Rep. Karen Bass.
Saturday: Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson, civic leader Michelle Collins, Mag Mile Association CEO Kimberly Bares, Illinois Environmental Council Deputy Director Colleen Smith, Northwestern University Education & Social Policy School comms director Julie Deardorff, Northwestern University clinical associate professor of communications Suzanne Muchin, Hy-Vee government relations director Tyler Power, and Tribune digital editor Tina Akouris.
Sunday: 9th Congressional District Democratic Committeewoman Carol Ronen, former Belgium Ambassador Ron Gidwitz, former Treasury Secretary and Paulson Institute Chairman Hank Paulson, ComEd VP of government affairs Marlow Colvin, Pride Action Tank executive director Kim Hunt, and ABC News national correspondent Alex Perez.
- Shia Kapos @shiakapos