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Political News

Local and State Headlines for 05-09-2021

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Lightfoot halts General Iron permit after pressure from Biden’s EPA chief

Newly appointed EPA Administrator Michael Regan says a thorough review of health hazards from the proposed facility should be done because Southeast Side pollution issues "epitomize the problem of environmental injustice."


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Massive hack exposes emails from top Lightfoot officials

The emails were posted online on April 19 by Distributed Denial of Secrets, a nonprofit whistleblower group similar to WikiLeaks, and include tens of thousands of emails from city officials.


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Pritzker: Schools to get an extra $350 million ‘because our outlook has improved’

"Back in February, when faced with financial uncertainty to the state and the prospect of billions of federal dollars going directly to our schools, I presented a flat operational budget for the state, which was all we could afford," Pritzker said. 


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Just five weeks to reopening? Or two months? Pritzker and Lightfoot at odds, yet again, on COVID-19 restrictions

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that barring another surge of infections, he’ll let the state fully reopen June 11. It’s the clearest timeline Pritzker has set for most of the state to return to business as usual — and one that puts him in disagreement with Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who is sticking to a more conservative potential reopening date of July 4.


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Chicago Police Department raids on homes plummet, City Hall inspector general finds

The city watchdog also says a police database doesn’t list raids done at the wrong address — like the bungled search of the apartment of Anjanette Young.


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Chicago on the road to financial solvency, Lightfoot assures investors

The mayor also noted that more than half of the $1.9 billion in federal aid will be used to retire $965 million in scoop-and-toss borrowing — though she faces resistance from City Council members who call it a Wall Street bailout.


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Police oversight agency chief resigns

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been openly critical of how long the Civilian Office of Police Accountability has taken to finish investigations, including a protracted investigation into the botched raid on the home of a social worker.


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New Chicago concert series is only for the fully vaccinated

City officials hope the Protect Chicago Music Series will encourage vaccinations.


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Illinois positivity rate hits lowest point in a month as Pritzker says he’s ‘optimistic’ for summer reopening

Besides saying earlier this week that the state could enter a "bridge phase" next week — an intermediary stage before a full reopening — Pritzker has not committed to a specific timeline for lifting all COVID-19 restrictions.


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Chicago has more summer jobs than applicants, aldermen told

The One Summer Chicago program will run from July 5 to Aug. 13 and include both remote and socially-distanced, in-person jobs and life skills training for 21,000 young people. The deadline to apply is June 11.


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Lightfoot sets goal to ‘fully open’ Chicago by July 4

The Chicago Auto Show already is set to open July 15. But getting "fully open" by July 4 also could mean the return of Lollapalooza, Taste of Chicago and the Air & Water Show, the city’s most popular and iconic summer events.


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Chicago Auto Show is on for July — breathing life into McCormick Place for first time since pandemic began

The auto show will take place July 15-19.


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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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Secretary of state rivals meet virtually, pledge more online services, library help — and spirited race with ‘good dancing shoes’

Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia, state Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Tinley Park, and Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) laid out their campaign platforms on a Zoom call hosted by Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th), who doubles as the Northwest Side ward’s Democratic committeeperson. The only no show among the major Democratic hopefuls was former state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.


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City digs up interest in sites long neglected

Proposals sought for key commercial stretches emphasize corner parcels and some architectural landmarks.


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Black activists march on CHA headquarters

On Monday, several Black-led community activism organizations gathered outside of the Chicago Housing Authority to demand local, state and federal government support in Chicago’s marginalized Black neighborhoods.


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CPS CEO Janice Jackson’s resignation will leave district without top 3 officials

At an afternoon news conference, Jackson said as she looks back on her tenure, she is "both proud and humbled and also a little bit tired if I’m being honest."


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CPS CEO lets loose about CTU: ‘Right now, the politics in education are ugly’

Janice Jackson, who announced her resignation Monday, said the district’s constant battles with the Chicago Teachers Union contributed to her decision to leave the district.


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86% of alerts from city’s gunshot detection system led to ‘dead-end deployments,’ researchers find

More than 40,000 ShotSpotter alerts prompted no formal reports of any crime over a 21-month stretch — amounting to an average of 61 unfounded deployments each day.


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State Senate President Harmon wants an elected Chicago school board – but only partly for now

Senate President Don Harmon vowed Friday to pass a bill creating an elected school board this year, favoring a "hybrid model" of elected and appointed members. Mayor Lori Lightfoot backs that approach, while a fully elected board is supported by state House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch and other House Democrats.


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Nancy Lipman, mentor to other LGBTQ Chicago cops, devoted animal rescuer, dead at 61

She was one of the first "white shirts" to ride on the Chicago Police Department float in the Pride Parade — "a huge thing," says the head of the Lesbian Gay Police Association-Gay Officers Action League of Chicago.


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Lightfoot pressures ComEd to negotiate on utility contract

The city issued a request for information to help officials determine if they can find an alternative to providing electricity to Chicago.


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Former Ald. Ricardo Munoz charged by feds for allegedly using Progressive Reform Caucus money on personal expenses

A 29-page indictment made public Thursday also indicates that Munoz’s behavior continued even after the feds’ aggressive pursuit of public corruption had blown into full view in November 2018.


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Daley nephew innocent until proven guilty — but verdict is in on dynasty’s mayoral run

A federal indictment Thursday raises the question: Does this mark the end of the line for the Daleys in Chicago politics, or at least the beginning of the end? I expect it does.


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City contact tracers had access to COVID-19 patient records after quitting or being fired, investigation finds

Chicago City Hall Inspector General Joseph Ferguson finds lapse in privacy policy, though city officials found there was no unauthorized access of information.


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Patrick Daley Thompson indicted over loans from failed Bridgeport bank, declares innocence

The Bridgeport alderman, 51, who faces seven charges involving Washington Federal Bank for Savings, says: ‘I did not commit any crime, I am innocent, and I will prove it at trial.’


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City Council committee endorses renaming Outer Lake Shore Drive to honor DuSable

If the full council approves the measure, the Outer Drive would be renamed from Hollywood Avenue to 67th Street in honor of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, a Black man who was Chicago’s first non-indigenous permanent settler.


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Lightfoot says COPA must justify decision to recommend stripping powers from cop in Alvarez shooting

Though saying she respects the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the mayor also said it must "do a better job of communicating with the superintendent. It shouldn’t be that the press knows about something before the superintendent of police knows about something."


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Bernarda ‘Bernie’ Wong, 77, trailblazing advocate for Asian Americans in Chicago; UPDATED with service information

Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 14 at St. Therese, 218 W. Alexander St. A Mass for family and close friends only will be offered at the church at 10 a.m. May 15.


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Fans allowed at Bulls, Blackhawks games as Chicago continues to ease restrictions

Restaurants and bars can increase indoor capacity to 50% or 100 people, whichever is less. The cap had been 50% or 50 people. Meetings, conferences and conventions held at large indoor venues like McCormick Place now can operate at 25% capacity or 250 people, whichever is less.


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Police bodycam video shows officer shoot Anthony Alvarez as he ran from cops with a gun in his hand

Aunt of Alvarez says officers took too long to help him after he was shot after viewing videos released Wednesday of the killing last month.


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Lightfoot administration floats alternative to renaming Outer Drive in honor of DuSable

Ald. David Moore likes the mayor’s ideas on other ways to honor Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, considered the first permanent non-indigenous settler in what is now Chicago. But Moore considers them a "complement" to his plan to rename the Outer Drive.