Happy Wednesday, Illinois. If you can’t go to Italy, the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition just landed at the Oakbrook Center. h/t Daily Herald Republicans aren’t the only bracing for a big shift in the congressional remap. Democrats are wondering how redistricting might accommodate an additional “Latino seat” in Congress. “The reality is, if it hadn’t
Happy Wednesday, Illinois. If you can’t go to Italy, the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibition just landed at the Oakbrook Center. h/t Daily Herald
Republicans aren’t the only bracing for a big shift in the congressional remap. Democrats are wondering how redistricting might accommodate an additional “Latino seat” in Congress.
“The reality is, if it hadn’t been for Latino population growth over the past few decades, Illinois would have lost more than one congressional seat,” Ald. Gil Villegas told Playbook. “We need a second congressional seat on the North Side.”
He and other Latino leaders hope there’s a move to carve out a second seat. There’s a lot of talk, Villegas said, “But until it’s on paper, we are just negotiating against ourselves.”
Villegas is a key player in the Chicago City Council’s redistricting process, which is more flexible than the congressional remap that must be finished by June 30. Boundaries for City Council seats don’t have to be finalized until the end of December, giving mapmakers time to look at the detailed information that will come from the 2020 census in September. Villegas expects to see more Latino representation on the City Council once that process is wrapped up. The state Legislature may also add districts with predominant Latino representation.
It’s the congressional seat that’s causing handwringing. For years, former House Speaker Michael Madigan protected the 3rd District represented by his friend, former Rep. Dan Lipinski. Now Madigan is gone and so is Lipinski, after losing in last year’s primary to Marie Newman. The district has a large Latino population that makes it a possible seat to be reshaped for a Latinx candidate, possibly pulling from the neighboring 4th District, represented by Congressman Chuy Garcia.
Another scenario: Because gentrification has pushed the Hispanic community to the north and south suburbs, some see a new seat on the North Side that would pick up a big chunk of Chicago along with suburban communities, such as Melrose Park, Franklin Park, Bensenville, Elgin, Hanover Park and Carpentersville. Such a scenario could affect Rep. Mike Quigley’s 5th District seat.
The Latinx seats could look like this map drawn by political consultant Frank Calabrese, who is a student of the remap process.
The challenge: Latinos are more integrated in white communities than Black residents are, so communities can’t be so easily carved out.
Garcia, who has political sway in the Democratic Party, could play a major role in deciding whether he wants a second seat, since a new seat could cut into his district.
His predecessor also could have pushed for a second seat but chose not to. Former Congressman Luis Gutiérrez didn’t want to see his district split in two, maybe because he lived on the North Side but saw most of his votes come from the south side of his district.
— How the remap could impact Chicago’s three Black congressional districts, by Edward McClelland for Chicago magazine
— Madison County Government Relations Committee proposes 29-member ‘fair map,’ via Madison-St. Clair Record.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the city’s first Black female mayor, stunned the City Hall press corps Tuesday when we learned she is only doing one-on-one interviews with Black or brown reporters about her two-year anniversary. There are few minorities — and zero women of color — who cover the mayor on a daily basis, and she wanted to call attention to that, according to a source familiar with Lightfoot’s decision. Reporters learned about the mayor’s interview plans via a tweet by Mary Ann Ahern, the political reporter at NBC/5.
Twitter responses run the gamut. There are references to former President Donald Trump, who was known for singling out reporters he thought would throw soft ball questions his way. And there’s this from journalist Taylor Moore: “The response to this is so fascinating. White journalists are aggrieved and journalists of color are like ‘lmaooooooo ok??’”
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At the Illinois Department of Transportation in Springfield at 11:30 a.m. to announce road and bridge improvements made possible by the Rebuild Illinois capital plan
No official public events.
In the Cook County Building at 1:15 p.m. for a presser calling on state lawmakers to return Local Government Distributive Funding to previous levels. LGDF dollars pay for services such as police and fire, road repairs and maintenance and flood prevention.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday reported 21 additional deaths and 1,495 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 22,466 fatalities and 1,368,709 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from May 11 through 17 is 2.3 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 3.3 percent.
— Chicago adopts CDC guidelines, but still advises covering your face: “City officials ‘strongly advise businesses to verify that individuals are fully vaccinated,’ but it’s up to them how to do that. Dr. Allison Arwady acknowledged many of them ‘may not have the capacity to do that,’ so they’re advised — but not required — to keep masking policies in place until Chicago lifts all pandemic restrictions,” by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.
— Chicago’s plan to flood areas with vaccines improved racial equity. Now it’s ending: “As the initiative winds down by the end of May, many health providers and community organizations that were involved are wondering, what’s next to keep this momentum going?” by WBEZ’s Becky Vevea and Kristen Schorsch.
— Indiana clears Chicago’s emergency travel order, now 7 states remain on list, by Tribune’s Alice Yin
— As the military nationwide battles vaccine hesitancy, sailors at Great Lakes are lining up to get their shots, reports Tribune’s Angie leventis Lourgos
Corinne Wood, former Illinois lieutenant governor, dies after long battle with breast cancer: The former lieutenant governor under Gov. George Ryan would have turned 67 on May 28. Wood, an attorney, served as a Republican state house member, representing the 59th District, before becoming lieutenant governor, via CBS/2
… Statement from Wood’s family
… Statement from Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton: “As the first woman to serve as lieutenant governor of Illinois, she was a trailblazer bringing her authentic self to the office and elevating the issue of women’s health. She paved the way for women like me to serve in this role.”
… Tribute from CHANGE Illinois: “As a reporter, I covered Wood during her time in office. When I joined CHANGE Illinois, Corinne turned the tables and frequently asked tough, incisive questions about our fight for independent mapping and improved ethics in Illinois. We were better for it,” said Executive Director Madeleine Doubek.
— Regional superintendents address Illinois teacher shortage: In a survey of the state’s seven regions, “school districts reported the shortage was worst in west central and southeastern Illinois,” reports Capitol News’ Raymon Troncoso.
— On whether education funding goals are constitutionally required: “The Illinois Supreme Court is considering whether Gov. JB Pritzker is legally obligated to recommend more state spending on K-12 education. But lawyers for the state say it’s not Pritzker — or any governor — the schools have an issue with; it’s the legislature itself, which passes state budgets for the governor to sign,” by NPR’s Derek Cantu.
— House GOP to Pritzker: ‘The buck stops here’ after 36 veterans died on his watch: “Republicans claim there’s been ‘no action’ to ensure veterans’ safety going forward following last Tuesday’s hearing. Rep. David Welter (R-Morris) explained while the hearing went over four hours long, lawmakers weren’t able to ask important questions to make the necessary changes,” by WGEM’s Ali Rasper.
— If Roe v. Wade is challenged, what will be the impact on Illinois? “[A]bortion access will likely continue uninterrupted in Illinois due to a series of laws enacted in recent years in anticipation of a federal rollback,” reports Lee Enterprises’ Brenden Moore.
— Undercounted and underserved: “A report by the state’s auditor general criticized the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services for failing to address the needs of LGBTQ+ youth in its care,” by Adam M. Rhodes in The Reader.
— Women leaders say here’s what will help the female workforce recover from the pandemic, by WBEZ’s Odette Yousef.
— Pritzker state budget plan receives qualified endorsement from The Civic Federation: “Illinois should use the more than $8 billion in federal stimulus funds to apply toward a projected $1.3 billion budget deficit in the next fiscal year and forgo Gov. JB Pritzker’s suggested elimination of $932 million in corporate tax breaks, a nonpartisan public-policy research group says,” by State Journal-Register’s Dean Olsen.
— STATEMENT: Civic Federation opposes 21-member elected Chicago School Board: “It would likely become enmeshed in factional politics, turf battles, political conflicts and appeasing powerful stakeholders. This would make it difficult to focus on efficient administration or implementing the core educational mission of the school system. It would also be difficult for the district’s chief administrators, who manage the schools on a day–to-day basis, to satisfy the demands of 21 elected members. Finally, a large board would be expensive,” the organization said in a statement.
… Columnist Phil Kadner on covering elected school boards for 30 years — and its problems: “Voter turnout is traditionally rock-bottom, at 16 precent. And among superintendents hired by these boards, fraud, embezzlement and outright stealing aren’t uncommon.”
— Can adults take this class too? Senate panel endorses ‘media literacy’ mandate in schools: “All high schools in Illinois would be required to offer instruction in how to understand and evaluate news and social media as part of their computer literacy courses under a bill that advanced out of a Senate committee Tuesday,” by Capitol News’ Peter Hancock.
— Editorial: Good riddance to a bad Illinois law that punishes people for being HIV-positive: “The Illinois Legislature is likely this week to abolish the criminalization of HIV transmission. Thirty-three other states should do the same,” by Sun-Times Editorial Board.
— LEARN HOW TO DRIVE: Lawmakers want traffic stop protocol to be taught in drivers ed, by ABC/20
The struggle to close reading gaps in a pandemic year is real. Just ask Chicago parents: “The crucial process of learning to read was made even more complicated this year by remote learning and wide-ranging inconsistency in how Chicago schools teach reading,” by Chalk Beat’s Yana Kunichoff.
— LOLLAPALOOZA RETURNS at 100% capacity: “Full Covid-19 vaccination or negative Covid-19 test results will be required to attend Lollapalooza 2021. For patrons who are not fully vaccinated, a negative Covid-19 test result must be obtained within 24 hours of attending Lollapalooza each day,” reports Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
… Tribune’s Chris Jones sees a disconnect in letting Lolla open at 100 percent capacity, while places like Ravinia are “drawing socially distanced circles on the lawn.” … But Lollapalooza is two months away, while the events Jones talks about are going on now.
— Deal reached to create police complaint database championed by watchdog, “The database would include both sustained and dismissed complaints, all of which are already public records and can be obtained by making a Freedom of Information Act request. However, that process can be cumbersome, confusing and rife with delays,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.
— Scrap shredder sues city for reneging on deal to fast-track opening on the heavily polluted Southeast Side: “The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court, urges a judge to order Lightfoot’s administration to award a permit Ohio-based Reserve Management Group needs to begin chopping up junked automobiles, used appliances and other metallic waste along the Calumet River near 116th Street and Avenue O,” reports Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne.
— Details of Chicago police shooting of Anthony Alvarez released in medical examiner’s report, by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Annie Sweeney
— Proposed charter school relocation to Albany Park sparks controversy among teachers, families, administrators, by Sun-Times’ Mary Chappell
— Bulls great Toni Kukoč discusses his road to the Hall of Fame, by Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley.
— McHenry County Board votes to keep ICE contract: “The vote comes after a growing coalition of community groups pushed for local officials to end its contract with the federal government that allows the McHenry County Jail to house ICE detainees,” by Sun-Times’ Elvia Malagón.
— It’s a longshot, but Arlington Park’s survival possible, racing board member says: “Illinois Racing Board Commissioner Alan Henry on Tuesday noted prospective buyers are now angling to bid on the property and keep a portion of it operating as a thoroughbred racetrack,” by Daily Herald’s Christopher Placek.
— Uncertainty over Covid-19 regulations causes Ribfest cancellation, by Daily Herald’s Lauren Rohr.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: LES CONEY, the Chicago businessman who was a bundler for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, is helping out in Florida for 2022. He’s cohosting a fundraiser Friday for Congresswoman Val Demings, who’s planning to run for the U.S. Senate against Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Coney, who splits his time between Chicago and Miami, has gotten to know Demings in his travels. Co-hosting the event with Coney is former Hillary Clinton money man Jon Adrabi and longtime Democratic donor Alex Heckler.
— Sholar to run for Tognarelli vacancy, seat she currently holds by appointment: “Last month, the Illinois Supreme Court confirmed Amy Sholar to a vacancy created by the retirement of circuit judge Richard Tognarelli. Supreme Court Justice David Overstreet, who recommended Sholar’s appointment to the full court, swore her in on April 30,” by Madison-St. Clair Record’s Ann Maher.
Suspect in shooting of 2 Chicago officers held on $10M bail: “The man accused of wounding two Chicago police officers in a shooting over the weekend on the West Side of the city allegedly fired at least eight rounds from a handgun loaded with an extended magazine,” by WTTW’s Matt Masterson.
University of Chicago requires students get Covid-19 vaccine for fall quarter, via WGN/9.
THE FIFTY: During the pandemic, the nation’s unemployment system failed when it was needed most. Fixing it “will require a coordinated, multibillion-dollar undertaking — with governors, Congress and the president working together on the biggest overhaul since the social safety net was created more than 85 years ago,” writes POLITICO’s Katherine Landergan.
— Kinzinger supports bill on Jan. 6 commission: ‘We cannot let fear stop us’: “Kinzinger’s support for a commission to look into the Jan. 6 riot comes hours after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he would not support such an effort, even after the top Democrat and Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee reached an agreement last week on legislation to establish a 9/11-style commission to investigate the events of that day,” via The Hill.
— Duckworth, Durbin ask Biden’s EPA to improve oversight of ethylene oxide probes: “The senators are asking for fixes after a government report pointed to a Trump political appointee who suppressed an investigation of a cancer-causing gas,” by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase.
— House Republicans plan rebellion over mask rules: Rep. Mary Miller was among a dozen or so Republicans who “refused to wear masks during the evening vote series and strategically stood at the well of the chamber, which appears on the C-SPAN cameras, and seemed to encourage other members to join in,” reports POLITICO’s Melanie Zanona.
… Rep Robin Kelly tweeting Congress members who won’t wear masks: “Since so many of my Republican colleagues refuse to get vaccinated, we still have to wear masks on the floor. Today I confronted them for being inconsiderate of members and staff. Children wear masks to school all day but these childish members won’t wear one for 30 minutes.”
— Congressman Sean Casten (IL-06) has been appointed as vice chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets.
— Going after tax cheats to pay for Dems’ spending plans? There’s just one problem, writes POLITICO’s Brian Faler
— Liberals to Biden: Ditch the infrastructure talks with Republicans, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Sarah Ferris
— Anti-Asian American hate crimes bill passes House, heads to Biden, by POLITICO’s Nicholas Wu
— From Charleston to Minneapolis, America grapples with symbols of slave-owning past, by Kimeko McCoy in The Undefeated
Citadel founder and CEO Ken Griffin, who’s also a noted political donor, has given $10 million to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum to support the creation of the new “Exploring the Planets” exhibition. “It will tell the stories of the diverse worlds circling the sun and how exploring those worlds helps enhance people’s understanding of Earth,” the museum said in a statement. The “Kenneth C. Griffin Exploring the Planets Gallery” is scheduled to open in 2022.
Debra Shore, a commissioner with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, drew a laugh during a virtual meeting the other day in front of a tough audience: eight Pershing Elementary students in Berwyn who were taking part in an after-school civics program sponsored by Our American Voice. At one point, Shore held up a tomato and asked the kids, “What do you call this?” The group chimed: “Tomato, tomato!” Shore continued: “I call this a water balloon — it’s 95 percent water!” … Shore then transitioned into a discussion about how much water is needed to make different foods. She told organizers afterward: “Have tomato, will travel.” Ba dum tss!
— Gaza, crisis reporting, and the crisis of local journalism: “The al-Jalaa tower [which was destroyed in an Israeli attack] is, in some meaningful ways, a fitting metaphor for the state of local news in America,” writes Wednesday Journal’s Michael Romain.
— As board vote nears, local buyer eludes the Tribune: “The lack of uptake shows times have changed in media and Chicago’s business circles,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— YMCA brings in new CEO to revamp struggling nonprofit: Dorri McWhorter, who’s headed the YWCA, will take over as the agency recovers from steep financial losses from the pandemic, by Crain’s Steven Strahler.
— Stephanie Bell-Rose, a nationally known philanthropic and governance executive, has been named to the board of directors of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago. She serves on numerous high-profile organizations, including the Knight Foundation and the Association of Black Foundation Executives.
— BGA welcomes newest interns for investigative reporting: “Analisa Trofimuk and Siri Chilukuri were selected from more than 100 applicants nationwide to join the nonprofit newsroom as it continues an ambitious internship program launched last year,” by Better Government Association reports.
Thursday at 6:30 p.m.: Stacy Davis Gates, VP of Chicago Teachers Union, and Sybil Madison, Chicago’s deputy mayor for Education and Human Services, headline “At the Table” virtual discussion on “Politics and Chicago Public Schools,” sponsored by the Sun-Times and featuring education reporter Nader Issa and columnists Laura Washington and Lynn Sweet.
TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to government relations consultant Lori Reimers for correctly answering that Cave-In-Rock State Park was once home to river pirates, outlaws, and bandits.
TODAY’s QUESTION: While serving in the Illinois General Assembly, what window did Abraham Lincoln jump out of to stop a House vote? Email to [email protected]
Bob Juliano, liaison at the state Secretary of State’s office; Eric Herman, co-chair and comms director for Tenth Congressional District Democrats (Tenth Dems); and Playbooker Phil Smith.
- Shia Kapos @shiakapos
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