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Political News

Local and State Headlines for 04-11-2021

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Lightfoot expands Sunday hours to 10 more branch libraries

Starting April 18, the Altgeld, Mount Greenwood, South Shore, Back of the Yards, Chinatown, Merlo, Edgewater, Independence, Richard M. Daley and Austin branch libraries will open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.


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CPD preparing for demonstrations after release of Toledo shooting video, Chauvin verdict

Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) said he’s worried the department will again shift officers from neighborhood police districts to staff downtown and other commercial areas.


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With vaccine arriving and eligibility widening, Pritzker urges frustrated Chicagoans to hit the suburbs — Arwady suggests Indiana

"We now need to get as many shots into arms as quickly as we possibly can," the governor said. "I want to make sure that people in Chicago know that they are welcome to sign up for our mass vaccination sites."


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Aldermen move to prevent parade permit infighting

The ordinance preserves permit priority for parades that had been forced to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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County Democrats vote to scold alderman for opposing Foxx, urge Springfield to pass school board bills, opposing Lightfoot

The party voted on both matters during its Wednesday night meeting, the third time members of the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization have met during the pandemic.


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Ald. Pat Dowell jumps into secretary of state’s race with plans for licenses, literacy: ‘We can do more’

Dowell also listed helping small and minority-owned businesses navigate the state’s licensing requirements as a top priority.


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Removing controversial monuments is ‘akin to erasing history,’ some residents tell committee conducting review

During recent meetings, members of the public have been most vocal about the potential removal of statues of Christopher Columbus, as well as monuments to the Italian fascist leader Italo Balbo and former U.S. presidents.


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CTU wants reopening of high schools delayed one week, citing COVID-19 variant concerns

CPS has targeted an April 19 return date for in-person learning, with teachers reporting this Monday.


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Hispanic Caucus endorses civilian police oversight compromise Lightfoot rejected

The council members say the police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo unmasked a "broken" system of police accountability and deep distrust that requires "robust civilian oversight and community control" over CPD.


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Surging COVID-19 cases, rising positivity mean it’s ‘time to double down’ on face masks and other precautions

Nearly 600 Chicagoans are testing positive every day on average, a figure that has more than doubled since the start of March. 


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Little Village community groups call for peace talk a week after police fatally shoot 13-year-old boy

More than a week after Adam Toledo was fatally shot by Chicago police, community members continue to push for the release of video showing what happened in the moments before the shooting.


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City will meet April 19 national deadline for all adults to be eligible for vaccine, mayor says

"When we open up on April 19, that doesn’t mean that very day everybody’s gonna get access to vaccine," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday. "When we make these announcements, there will be some lag."


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Lightfoot marks first anniversary of ‘racial equity rapid response teams’

The teams’ "hyper-local, data-informed" approach was intended to stop Chicago’s Black and Brown residents from bearing the brunt of COVID-19 deaths.


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Lightfoot vows to hunt down adult she says put gun in Adam Toledo’s hand

"An adult put a gun in a child’s hand. A young and impressionable child," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference Monday. "This happens way too often in our city. And it’s way past time for us to say, ‘No more.’"


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Pritzker signs firefighter pension fix that Lightfoot blasts as ‘fiscally irresponsible’ product ‘of cutting back room deals’

The governor argued the pension fix ensures "certainty and fair treatment" for hardworking firefighters, but Republican lawmakers and fellow Democrat Lightfoot counter that it will sock already strapped taxpayers with another property tax increase.


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City signs three-year, $79.6 million contract with Lake Shore Recycling

Under the new contract, the company known as LRS will collect blue recycling carts with "less than 50 percent contamination" in four of Chicago’s six recycling regions. The company replaces Waste Management and SIMS Metal Management.


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Under federal scrutiny, Madigan, Solis collecting lucrative government pensions

The former speaker just got his first check amid an ongoing investigation. The ex-alderman has gotten nearly $170K since resigning. Pensions of other pols facing probes are uncertain.


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Democratic ward bosses to be asked to endorse elected school board bills Lightfoot opposes

"It definitely feels like Preckwinkle is trying to put the screws to Mayor Lightfoot to take action on an elected school board," said Ald. Ray Lopez (15th), who doubles as the Southwest Side ward’s Democratic committeeman.


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Plans at LeClaire Courts site promise to atone for CHA’s past

The $350 million investment would mix market rate and subsidized housing and could revitalize a stretch of Cicero Avenue.


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Gang members ‘instructed’ to shoot at police vehicles after Adam Toledo shooting, cops warned

According to a Chicago Police Department alert to officers, Latin Kings members were likely to shoot at unmarked police vehicles.


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No end in sight for Ald. Ed Burke’s slow-moving racketeering case

Prosecutors are expected to file a massive brief by April 19. Though it could shed new light on the case that shook up Chicago politics in early 2019, it will also give the judge more paper to sort through.


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Chicago sees ‘quantum leap’ in COVID-19 cases — widening Lightfoot-Pritzker split over vaccine plans

A statewide uptick in coronavirus cases has already pushed back Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to begin loosening more business restrictions, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot said it means additional reopenings won’t be happening in Chicago anytime soon.


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City blew 40% of police consent-decree deadlines last year; Lightfoot points to ‘substantial progress’

The 2019 consent decree is a federal court order requiring the Chicago Police Department to enact reforms in discipline, supervision, training and recruiting. The city has at least five years to comply.


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Largest firehouse in Chicago history opens for service on Far South Side

The $30 million, 27,000-square-foot firehouse at 1024 W. 119th St. that will serve as the new headquarters for Engine Co. 115 is a personal and very emotional triumph for Ald. Carrie Austin (34th).


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Feds probing police shooting at Red Line stop that was caught on video

Ariel Roman, an unarmed man who was shot by a Chicago cop last year at the Grand station, was compelled to appear before a federal grand jury earlier this year.


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Were Alison Victoria’s tears real? Lawsuit questions ‘Windy City Rehab’ episode showing falling out with her costar

The claims were made in a new filing Tuesday by former show co-host Donovan Eckhardt, who is seeking $2.2 million in a defamation lawsuit.


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Cubs-Pritzker tandem benched as city culls North Lawndale plans

After reviewing community remarks, the city’s Planning Department has left four development teams still competing for vacant property at Roosevelt Road and Kostner Avenue.


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CTA, Metra and Pace urged to test sharply reduced fares or no fares to lure back riders lost during pandemic

MarySue Barrett, retiring president of the Metropolitan Planning Council, said something dramatic must be done to rebuild rider confidence after a yearlong, work-at-home stretch that left all three mass-transit agencies reeling.


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Mayor’s plan for $1.8 billion in federal relief won’t go to City Council until May or June

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s timetable did not sit well with Ald. Brian Hopkins. "Nobody wants a done deal dropped in our laps at the last minute and then say, ‘Take it or leave it. Vote it up or down,’" Hopkins said Monday.


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Lightfoot wants to help Loretto ‘get it right’ after another vaccine favoritism flap

The president and CEO of Affinity Health, which oversees COVID clinical trials at Loretto, requested 10 vaccinations for people he said were eligible under city vaccination guidelines, a Loretto spokesperson said. One was terminally ill, so all 10 were administered at a private home.


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West Side leaders throw support behind Loretto Hospital amid vaccine scandal

"We want to undergird this institution with confidence," U.S. Rep. Danny Davis said, a day after the latest chapter emerged in the Loretto vaccine fiasco.


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How many Chicago teachers have been vaccinated? No one knows — leaving serious blind spots for CPS

The district is trying to avoid repeating classroom conditions for thousands of students who have been learning from a remote teacher while they are at school.