Friday, July 10, 2020

Column: Could New Twist On Recycled Strike Force Strategy Slow Shootings? – Patch Chicago

Mark Konkol: "The reimagining of a citywide violence reduction squad with a gentle touch would give police brass a much-needed unit of highly trained officers to more effectively respond when shootings spike. Better than, say flooding the streets with 1,200 extra cops, which didn't work July 4th holiday weekend when 100 people got shot, 15 fatally."

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Chicago Must ‘Safeguard’ Progress Fighting Coronavirus to Allow Schools to Reopen: Officials – WTTW (Chicago)

Chicago Teachers Union leaders said this week that more than two-thirds of their members are unwilling to return to the classroom without guarantees that schools will have adequate protective gear for teachers as well as detailed cleaning and safety protocols to prevent the spread of the disease.

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Yes, We’re Seeing A Rise In Coronavirus Cases In Illinois — But Don’t Panic, City’s Top Doctor Says – Block Club Chicago

The city is also “very, very far below any concerning point” in terms of hospital capacity, Arwady said. COVID-19-related hospitalizations are at their lowest level since March and are declining still, she said.

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Archdiocese of Chicago Releases Reopening Plan for Fall School – NBC5 (Chicago)

The plan includes measures like mandatory face masks for students over the age of 2, student "cohorts," temperature checks and the option to continue online learning.

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Chicago bars, restaurants that serve alcohol must close at midnight – WGNTV (Chicago)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has set new limits on bars and restaurants to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

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Chicago housing market among most vulnerable to COVID impact – Crain’s

The Chicago area’s housing market is among the nation’s most vulnerable to trouble from the COVID-19 crisis, according to a new report.

Seven local counties are among the nation’s 50 most at risk of having large numbers of households struggle to hang on to the homes they own, according to the study, released yesterday by Attom Data Solutions. The counties are Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Will, Kendall and DeKalb.

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What’s Next for Northerly Island? – Chicago Magazine

"Even less clear than Northerly Island’s reopening date is whether Chicagoans miss it at all, especially with summer concerts canceled at the Huntington Bank Pavilion...From Meigs Field to the ill-fated Hamilton exhibition, the city has treated Northerly Island as a money-making property. These days, the island’s center is a hodgepodge of chain link fences, event venues, and parking lots."

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Chicago Ald. Raymond Lopez Says His Brighton Park Home Was Attacked – WBEZ (Chicago)

The alderman suspects the attack is retaliation for work he says he’s doing to run gangs out of his ward, which includes the Southwest Side neighborhoods of Brighton Park, Back of the Yards and Gage Park.

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Cook County State’s Attorney launches website for reporting criminal misconduct by police – WGNTV (Chicago)

Complaints against officers that are not of a criminal nature will need to be reported to departments directly, the state’s attorney said. In Chicago, this can be done through the Civilian Office of Police Accountability.

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Chicago Hopes Broadband Plan Could Help Other Cities Address Digital Divide – WSJ

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the Chicago Connected project, which aims to provide free broadband internet for 100,000 children in the city’s largest school district for four years, on June 25. The $50 million plan has been funded by philanthropic donations, the Chicago public school system and city funds.
Ken Griffin, the chief executive of investment firm Citadel LLC, who contributed $7.5 million, said the program could serve as a template for other cities facing similar issues with student internet access.

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They Paid $1,700 To Get Water For Their Community Garden, But City Won’t Turn On The Taps – Block Club Chicago

A city spokeswoman said the department has issued six permits to community gardens to use city water this summer; There are more than 800 community gardens in the city. “It seems negligent in the midst of a pandemic where so many people are food insecure to hold up a vital part of maintaining a garden,” one gardener said.

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University of Chicago removes tributes to Stephen Douglas – Northwest Indiana Times

A plaque and a stone from a university that preceded the University of Chicago would be moved to a campus research center. “Douglas died in 1861 and had no connection to the University of Chicago that was founded in 1890 as a new institution with a distinct mission," the university president said.

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CPS Wants Federal ‘Small Business’ Loans For Charter Schools Investigated – WBEZ (Chicago)

The district argues the charter schools were fully funded for the duration of the 2019-2020 school year, which is the time period covered by the PPP application. In addition, the state is distributing $570 million in relief funds from the federal CARES coronavirus relief package to Illinois districts. Chicago is getting $206 million of that.

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John Kass: As Black children are killed in spiking urban violence, where’s the outrage from the white and the woke? – Chicago Tribune

"(C)ould it just be that the protesters, so silent now, see no political advantage for the November elections in drawing attention to the Black children, some as young as 1, who are killed?This is July. And what’s on their mind is November, November, November."

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Investor: Chicago-area homeowners should brace for higher taxes – Chicago City Wire

"The theory was floated in a June 26 Wirepoints article co-written by Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner that says local governments will seek to replace load tax revenue from commercial properties by hiking property taxes for homeowners. 'The lockdown has left many businesses and commercial properties with reduced or no income for months, bringing down the economic value of their properties,' the article states."

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Cook County to start dividing up ‘much-needed’ $51 million in federal CARES Act funding to suburbs hardest hit by coronavirus pandemic – Chicago Tribune

The county worked with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to devise an “equitable funding formula” that considers a municipality’s immediate needs, median income and public health statistics, she said.

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‘Black Lives Matter’ mural in Oak Park defaced, painted over to read ‘All Lives Matter’ – ABC Chicago

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Death toll of Chicago’s 1995 heat wave revealed same racial disparities as coronavirus today – WGNTV (Chicago)

“The virus doesn’t care if you are Black or Latino or Native American, doesn’t care, but we create conditions that make it impossible for groups that are oppressed to fight off the virus effectively,” said Dr. Linda Murray, former Chief Medical Officer for the Cook County Department of Public Health.

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Editorial: Go after gangs, CPD, but prioritize public trust – Chicago Tribune

"The fact is, every Chicago cop needs to make daily efforts to build relationships with residents to repair the broken trust from years of abuse and misconduct by bad officers."

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Lightfoot To Trump: States And Cities Should Decide When And How To Reopen Schools – WBEZ (Chicago)

“I don't put too much weight into what President Trump says particularly given his lack of leadership over the course of this pandemic,” Lightfoot said, but deferred to CPS when asked for specific details about Chicago schools reopening in September.

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Chicago Museums Can Reopen in Phase 4, But Not All of Them Will – WTTW (Chicago)

That capacity restriction, which allows occupancy to reach just 25%, is partly why the Adler Planetarium is waiting to reopen until phase five. "For both our financial health and the well-being of our staff, we made the decision to wait until we can have a full public opening again,” an Adler Planetarium spokesperson said.

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Prominent Chicago High School Votes Down School Police Program. Will Others Follow? – Block Club Chicago

On Tuesday night, Northside College Prep’s Local School Council, a representative body made up of parents, teachers and one student, voted — with 8 in favor, 0 opposed and 1 abstaining — to remove officers from campus this fall.

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Chicago police forming citywide unit to combat violent crime – WGNTV (Chicago)

The department’s announcement this week means that it will have for the first time in nine years the kind of permanent roving team that in the past has has been both praised and come under fire.

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Column: Lender halts funding for Helmut Jahn-designed skyscraper on Michigan Avenue, putting project in doubt – Chicago Tribune

Ryan Ori: "At 74 stories and an expected cost of $470 million, the 1000M tower would be difficult to pull off even in the best of times."

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Financial State of Chicago 2019 – Truth in Accounting

Chicago's debt increased by $2 billion in 2019, which will only deteriorate further with the current pandemic. Chicago will see a significant loss of revenue and increase in spending due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is something the city simply cannot afford.

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Chicago police trying to combat violence limited by politics-driven policy: former chief – FOX News

"The fact is, and we need to pay attention to this, crime reduction isn't a turn on a light switch and it happens," he told Fox News on Tuesday. "Chicago, unfortunately, is unwilling to stay the course."

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The good news: The City of Chicago only lost $94 million last year – Truth in Accounting

"That’s the good news. But what’s good for the goose isn’t always what is good for the gander. The improvement in the bottom line in 2019 arrived despite overall expense growth accelerating from 2018. Losses fell simply because tax revenue rose significantly faster than expenses."

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Foxx losing more cases, leading to increase in crime, police group says – WGNTV (Chicago)

The pro-police Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund found Foxx’s predecessor Anita Alvarez had a 75% felony conviction rate compared to Foxx’s 65.8% felony conviction rate. Foxx insists this group is manipulating data to fit their political agenda.

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Maria Pappas – Chicago Magazine

"You cannot sit still... During this interview, I’m doing five-pound weights on each leg. I don’t want to be like a lot of 70-year-olds I know who are waiting for something to happen. I’m going to make it happen."

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Public Pension Reckoning Delayed With Stimulus Pumping Up Stocks – Bloomberg

"While retirement systems have far less than they need to pay pensioners, even the most poorly funded systems like Chicago and New Jersey won’t exhaust their assets in the next five years, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. If funds run dry, state and local governments would have to pay pensions solely with taxpayer dollars."

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3 Chicago Families Lost Their Homes To Fires This Weekend — And Illegal Fireworks Are Likely To Blame – Block Club Chicago

Although illegal in Illinois, the sale of fireworks in Indiana and Wisconsin skyrocketed this year, with one store selling three times as much as in previous years. And fireworks-related calls to 911 in Chicago more than quadrupled — with 19,925 between Jan. 1 through July 5 as compared to 4,612 during the same period last year

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How COVID is creating opportunity in the burbs – Crain’s

Businesses based downtown are suddenly grappling with many employees afraid to use public transportation to commute. The prospect of long waits for office tower elevators could dissuade workers from returning to the city in full force. And in the backdrop, millennials—the talent group companies moved downtown to attract in one of the tightest labor markets on record—appear to be buying suburban homes at a faster pace, some having proven they can be just as productive working remotely as in the office.

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Wedding At Lake Forest Hospital ‘Made Her Last Dream Come True’ – Patch Lake Forest-Lake Bluf

The couple got engaged in February and planned to hold a wedding in November. The coronavirus pandemic forced the ceremony to be postponed until May 2021. The mother-of-the-bride's diagnosis of terminal cancer prompted them to schedule a small ceremony in the backyard of the family home sooner. But her admission Tuesday to the intensive care unit shortened their timetable again.

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Chicago police arrest man for first-degree murder of 7-year-old girl – WGNTV (Chicago)

The shooting was reportedly gang retaliation and the little girl was caught in the fire while playing in her grandmother’s yard.

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Alderman Says Despite Mass Shooting, Program In Which Security Firm Partnered With Police In Englewood Was Success Overall – CBS2 (Chicago)

Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th) said it was not paid for by taxpayers, and said Kates Security took on the mission free of charge. When asked if this is something the alderman would do again in the future, she said she absolutely would, and she wants to do it more often.

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Tucker Carlson rips Mayor Lightfoot over city violence – Video

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Chicago pastor on weekend violence, death of 7-year-old: ‘People are afraid to leave the house’ – FOX32 (Chicago)

Asked if he thinks the mayor of Chicago should take the president up on his Tweeted offer for help, Pastor Corey Brooks said, “I’m for whatever it takes to stop the violence, whatever it takes to save a life. I think sometimes we have to get beyond our pride of feeling inadequate."

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As Boystown Reckons With Racism And Transphobia, Petition Demands Gender-Neutral Name Change – Block Club Chicago

“We submit this petition for the Northalsted Business Alliance to simply follow other LGBTQ neighborhoods across the world by marketing the area based on its location, North Halsted, not the majority gender of those people who sit on its board,” states the petition with more than 400 signatures.

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Protestors demand that police be defunded in Evanston, as mayor hosts series of talks about policing – ABC7 (Chicago)

The meeting came as workers washed away a painted "defund the police" banner on the street outside the Evanston police department. A freshly painted "black lives matter" banner in front of Evanston Township High School also was partially defaced Saturday morning.

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Op-Ed: Local reparations initiatives can lead to national policy remedying racial injustice – The Hill

"The Evanston ordinance explicitly recognizes that African Americans, while 16 percent of the population in Evanston, were 71 percent of those arrested for marijuana charges. It is not only disproportionate marijuana arrests that Evanston is beginning to correct."

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Commentary: Police Superintendent Brown: This is Chicago’s moment to come together – Chicago Tribune

"We cannot arrest our way out of this issue, but all aspects of the criminal justice system must be willing to work collaboratively to address the increasing number of violent gun offenders...We cannot expect community members to turn criminals over to the police if they know that our criminal justice system will return most of those criminals right back to the street."

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Chicago Mayor Says Fourth Of July Weekend Was ‘Mostly Peaceful’ – Babylon Bee

Comment: Yes, this is satire, for those not familiar with Babylon Bee. And it's terrific.

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As COVID-19 Closes Restaurants, Expect No Rush to Fill Real Estate Vacancies – Eater Chicago

One owner feels the local governments, which collect real estate taxes, have to work with local businesses, otherwise more issues may arise: “It’s fair to say our buildings are only worth the occupancy we can put in them. My buildings are essentially worthless if no one can go in them.”

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‘Thoughts And Prayers Are Not Enough’ Chicago Mayor Lighfoot On Weekend Violence – CBS2 (Chicago)

The mayor added that resources need to be funneled into targeting the flow of illegal guns coming into the city. But also programs to help people in crisis. “We simply must fundamentally recommit ourselves to focusing on the root causes of the violence is every bit a public health crisis as COVID-19."

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Lightfoot Expands Debt Relief to Help Chicagoans Struggling to Pay Their Water Bills – WTTW (Chicago)

A test of the program began in April with 3,315 homeowners. If they make payments for the next 12 months, the city will forgive about $2.9 million in debt, Lightfoot said. Approximately 60% of those participants are seniors.

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Chicago Beaches Not Opening Any Time Soon, Mayor Lightfoot Says – Block Club Chicago

To beat the heat, the city has opened several cooling centers, is rolling out mobile cooling centers and will reopen splash pads in public parks, Lightfoot said.

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Chicago to quarantine Arizonans, but Chicagoans wouldn’t pass city’s own test – Center Square

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the city has seen 48 cases per 100,000 residents, more than three times the city’s threshold of the quarantine order, as of June 27. As a state, Illinois would not qualify either, registering 43 cases per 100,000 residents in the same timeframe.

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Editorial: What does the Southland need? Not more promises of Peotone pie in the sky – Chicago Tribune

"Are they forgetting that Illinois is all but flat broke? Are they forgetting that the pandemic has made the state’s financial plight even worse? Illinois shouldn’t be musing about ways to ramp up spending — it should be working its tail off to find waste to trim."

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City Orders Closure Of Chicago Lakefront Cruises, Cites 5 Other Businesses For Violating Social Distancing Rules Over July 4th Weekend – CBS2 (Chicago)

In all, the city conducted 49 investigations of complaints over the holiday weekend, and issued a total of 10 citations to five businesses, each with a fine of up to $10,000.

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Pritzker signs tax law deeming some of Chicago’s most valuable property ‘blighted’ – Illinois Policy

The Near North tax increment financing district so far captured $331 million in property tax increases from other taxing districts, mainly Chicago Public Schools, and put the money towards economic development of the district.

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At Least 89 Shot, Including Multiple Children, in Chicago Over Fourth of July Weekend – NBC5 (Chicago)

At least 17 people, including a young girl, are dead and at least 72 others have been wounded in shootings across the city over the long Fourth of July weekend. Twelve of the victims were minors and two of them died from their injuries, according to police.

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Chicago Quarantine Order Now In Effect For Those Coming From States With COVID-19 Surges – CBS2 (Chicago)

If you’re caught breaking Chicago's quarantine, you could face fines of $100-$500 per day, up to $7,000. Illinois has not issued such an order on a statewide basis, and Gov. JB Pritzker’s office said last week that the state does not currently intend to do so

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Gather your courage and speak out. It’s a sacred freedom. – ChicagoNow

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Trump offers to help NYC, Chicago with rising spike in shootings – New York Post

“Chicago and New York City crime numbers are way up,” he wrote on Twitter. “Federal Government ready, willing and able to help, if asked!”

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Chicago Gun Violence Spikes and Increasingly Finds the Youngest Victims – New York Times

Chicago isn’t alone. Before the coronavirus hit, homicides were escalating nationwide in early 2020, and although the lockdown brought a pause, they began rising again as the stay-at-home measures were lifted.

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Outside agitators? Few arrested in Chicago after George Floyd’s death came from elsewhere. – Chicago Sun-Times

said David Stovall, a professor of African American Studies, Law and Criminology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, "When you talk about uprisings, protests, law enforcement likes to use the rhetoric of ‘outside agitators’ to deflect from the issue at home."

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Ald. Michele Smith keeps Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed change to lobbying rules on indefinite hold – Chicago Tribune

If Lightfoot’s plan passed, elected officials from outside Chicago could again lobby aldermen, the mayor’s office and other city government offices, as long as the public body they represent doesn’t have pending or recurring legislative or contractual matters involving the city of Chicago.

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79 shot, 15 fatally, over Fourth of July weekend in Chicago so far – FOX32 (Chicago)

Nine of the weekend’s victims were minors, and two of the children died from their injuries.

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Cook County Board considers nonbinding proposal to shift money from ‘failed and racist’ policing, incarceration systems – Chicago Tribune

Chicago has drawn attention for becoming the biggest U.S. city that hasn’t promised to reallocate money from its Police Department, with city officials reluctant to shrink law enforcement amid a continuing stream of shootings and murders.

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7-Year-Old Girl Shot, Killed In South Austin Neighborhood On July 4th Evening – CBS Chicago

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Backlog In Cook County Circuit Courts May Be Relieved Soon – CBS Chicago

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Cook County landlords get bad news about 2020 taxes – The Real Deal

The average commercial and industrial tax bill rose more than 20 percent in 10 suburbs.

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Former Cook County judge accuses Kim Foxx of nullifying public safety statutes – Chicago City Wire

“You're basically degrading a neighborhood and indicating to people who want to commit crimes that it’s okay,” O’Brien said. “You're telling people generally that the fact they obey the law doesn't matter because ‘we're giving consideration to people who disobeyed the law who we think are victims, too.’”

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Commentary: A corporate uprising could save Chicago – Chicago Tribune

"It is time for a serious corporate uprising that will demand change, get change or leave the city and maybe the state."

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Chicago’s Health Commissioner Says Police Won’t Enforce New Self-Quarantine Order For Travelers – WBEZ (Chicago)

“We do not have a plan to, for example, look for out-of-state license plates and pull them over,” Commissioner of Public Health Allison Arwady said. “We do not have a plan to create a list of individuals who are traveling and try to track them down.

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The Declaration of Independence

If you haven't read it lately, do so.

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Chicagoans Flock To Closed Beaches, But City Plans To Kick Them Out This Weekend – Block Club Chicago

“Indoor eating is open at restaurants but this isn’t. That’s weird,” said a woman at the beach Thursday.

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Pritzker signs bill lowering taxes on a Chicago casino – Illinois Policy

"It also marks state leaders’ acknowledgment that over-taxation can halt private investment in a venture."

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The Hedges Are Gone, But Protesters Now Want Wealthy Lakeview Homeowner To Close His Southwest Side Asphalt Plant – Block Club Chicago

Activists from the Southwest Environmental Alliance and Neighbors for Environmental Justice turned out at Tadin’s home — drums in hand — to demand the McKinley Park business be shuttered amid the respiratory pandemic.

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Text and FAQs for Chicago’s new Emergency Travel Order – City of Chicago

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Chicago adds 14-day quarantine for ‘surge’ states travelers – A.P.

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Chicago’s Pension Debt Soared $1.7B in 2019: City Analysis – WTTW (Chicago)

In all, Chicago owes $31.79 billion to its four employee pension funds representing police officers, firefighters, municipal employees and laborers, according to the 2019 Certified Annual Financial Report. That is an increase of nearly 5.6% from 2018.

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Are the Blue Men ever coming back? Chicago’s commercial theaters are in serious trouble. – Chicago Tribune

"A big non-profit potentially can rely on its board members to bankroll it through these hard times, or can sweet talk its big donors. In some rare cases, endowments can be tapped. But that’s not true of for-profit theaters, entirely reliant on ticket sales, bar takings and concessions for their survival."

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Lightfoot poll shows strong support for her and the police reforms she champions – Chicago Sun-Times

"Lightfoot pollster Jason McGrath" found:  86% of those surveyed approve of Lightfoot’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, 65% approve of her efforts to reform the Chicago Police Department, and 75% want to require police officers to “obtain licenses from the state just like other professions like lawyers and doctors.”

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces safety plan for July 4th weekend – ABC7 (Chicago)

"If any civil liberties group has a problem with people who are killing our people over drug spots, let's have a conversation because you need to have your attitude readjusted," Lightfoot said.

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Lightfoot Issues Warning to Restaurants, Bars That Saw Crowds, Lines Last Weekend – NBC5 (Chicago)

"I don't want to shut you down, but if you make me, I will," she said.

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Private security part of Englewood’s anti-violence plan for July 4th weekend – WGNTV (Chicago)

Kates Security CEO John Kates said they won’t intervene or try to arrest anyone, but they’re standing at the ready to report threatening activity to Chicago police.

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City Used Consent Decree to Delay Needed Reforms to School Police Program: Watchdog – WTTW (Chicago)

As part of a five-hour hearing during a joint session of the City Council’s Public Safety and Education committees on Thursday, Ferguson blasted aldermen for failing to examine the problems he detailed in his 2018 audit as required by city ordinance. Had a hearing been held sooner, Ferguson said the program could have been improved sooner while reducing public anger.

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Inspectors Checking Businesses For Phase 4 Compliancy Ahead Of July 4 – CBS2 (Chicago)

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection will start issuing citations with fines of up to $10,000.

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Lightfoot dismissed questions about ability to afford new CTU contract if economy tanked. Then COVID-19 hit, damaging CPS budget for years. – Chicago Tribune

Over the longer haul, the school district faces the double-whammy prospect of further erosion in property tax collections and higher pension contribution costs triggered by the economic downturn, budget analysts said.

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John Kass: With children being slaughtered, Mayor Lori Lightfoot needs to drop the memes and lead – Chicago Tribune

"She’s a brilliant woman, a person of integrity, and I still support her. But the city is numb. The murders continue climbing and the Fourth of July is just a few days away. Gov. J.B. Pritzker won’t help her. He’s a soft billionaire, a marshmallow who wants to be liked and thinks he can become president."

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Editorial: Suddenly, it seems like 2016 all over again with Chicago violence – Chicago Sun-Times

"In an editorial earlier this week, we praised Brown for articulating that policing alone is not the solution for Chicago’s violence...But we can’t ignore this short-term reality: When police officers stand down and stay in their cars, criminals take advantage, and people — including children — die."

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‘Perfect Storm’ to Blame for Surge in Homicides: Lightfoot – WTTW (Chicago)

The cycle of violence will not be broken without “an holistic, all-hands-on-deck approach,” Lightfoot said. She defended Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown’s plan to arrest teenagers on “drug corners” to keep them off the streets during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

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Chicago Matching 2016 Homicide Pace Through First Half of 2020 – WTTW (Chicago)

While murders and shootings are up sharply, the CPD said total crime across the city is actually down 9% over the same time last year. The number of thefts and criminal sexual assaults through June 30 have both dropped by more than 20% compared to 2019, while robberies, thefts and carjackings remain at 20-year lows year-to-date.

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3-Year-Old Girl Shot In Englewood Is The 4th Chicago Toddler Shot In 10 Days: ‘We’ve Lost Our Minds’ – Block Club Chicago

“This is crazy. I’m at a loss for words,” said 7th District Cmdr. Larry Snelling as he stood at the scene.

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Residential construction starts have cratered in Chicago – The Real Deal

Nonresidential construction was not as affected, tallying $2.63 billion from January through May, just a 2 percent dip compared to last year, according to the data. Overall, that meant Chicago’s $4.18 billion in construction starts from January through May represented an 18 percent falloff year-over-year.

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3-year-old girl shot in the chest in West Englewood, apparently in retaliation for shooting hour earlier that wounded 15-year-old boy – Chicago Tribune

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As Loop Traffic Begins To Rebound, Some Downtown Businesses Remain Boarded Up – CBS2 (Chicago)

A campaign to welcome everyone back begins this week. The Loop’s 80% dip in traffic is turning a corner.

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Chicago’s fair workweek law takes effect Wednesday as businesses grapple with pandemic uncertainty – Chicago Tribune

Only employees who make less than $26 an hour or $50,000 a year are covered by the protections. The law applies to businesses with 100 or more employees, to nonprofits with more than 250 employees, to restaurants with at least 30 locations and 250 employees globally, and to franchisees with four or more locations.

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Chicago police activity slowed amid June’s steep rise in murders; union blames morale – Chicago Sun-Times

In the first 28 days in June, the number of murders was up 83% compared with numbers from the same period in 2019, Chicago Police Department statistics show. And the number of arrests was down 55%, street stops fell by 74% and traffic stops dropped by 86%.

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Editorial: CPS and COVID-19: Don’t let students fall behind – Chicago Tribune

"A recent study by Brown University projected that students 'are likely to return in fall 2020 with approximately 63-68% of the learning gains in reading relative to a typical school year, and with 37-50% of the learning gains in math.' CPS has to protect its students, but can’t afford for them to lose any more academic ground. The district has two months to put Chicago’s children back on the right track."

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Protest outside Governor JB Pritzker’s Chicago home demands greater renter protections – ABC7 (Chicago)

"So many people make their livelihood in this industry, and so the notion of interrupting rent is a foolhardy notion," said Mike Glasser, president of the Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance. "What's going to happen to stock of affordable and safe and secure housing if we're out of business?"

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Governor Signs Tax Bill Into Law Paving The Way For A Chicago Casino – CBS2 (Chicago)

The law also allows gaming at the state fair and provides pandemic relief for the state’s gambling industry.

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Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership Wins $56M Contract to Track COVID-19 Infections – WTTW (Chicago)

The Workforce Partnership, which launched in 2012, will be required to set aside 85% of the funds for at least 30 neighborhood organizations that will conduct the work, officials said. Local organizations will be asked to submit proposals for that work in the coming weeks.

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Chicago quietly moves to renew huge TIF district – Crain’s

See our own article on this linked here. TIFs are simply slush funds.

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Wanted: 18 Suspects In 53 Arsons During Widespread Looting And Civil Unrest In Chicago – CBS2 (Chicago)

Chicago Police, FBI, and ATF investigators have released images and video of 18 people believed to be responsible for 53 acts of arson between May 30 and June 3. U.S. Attorney Jon Lausch said that while some of the incidents appeared to be coordinated attacks on businesses, others seemed to be random crimes of opportunity.

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More Than 30 South, West Side Businesses Awarded Neighborhood Opportunity Fund Grants – Block Club Chicago

In addition to the grants - which total $5.4 million - the city offers assistance to businesses in contracting, permitting, financing and other needs that arise as the construction projects progress.

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Case Shiller Index: Chicago Area Home Price Appreciation Remains Slowest In Nation

Chicago area single family home prices rose by just 1.4% over the last year while the national average was up by 4.7%. Even the second worst metro area - New York - was up a lot more at 2.5%. And 1.4% is slightly lower than March's 1.5% appreciation rate.

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Chicago PMI rebounds only slightly in June from 38-year low in prior month – MarketWatch

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Northwestern tuition hike draws protest – Crain’s

The university said last week that it's targeting a 3.5 percent increase in tuition and other fees to to $76,317 for on-campus students. But that’s not appeasing some students' families, who have signed a petition pushing back against the price hike.

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Advocates Blast Chicago Plan To Sweep Up ‘Drug Corner’ Teens Before July 4 – WBEZ (Chicago)

“This idea is potentially disastrous,” University of Chicago sociologist Robert Vargas said. “Let’s just assume that what the police are doing is lawful. Communities are tired of these interactions with the police. If you’re trying to arrest your way out of this problem, it’s not going to work.”

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COVID-19 Across Chicago: Where We’ve Been, What We Learned – WTTW (Chicago)

"Throughout our reporting, one overarching theme emerged: COVID-19 and the recent civil unrest over police brutality has brought into sharp focus the structural inequities and the disinvestment that has existed across Chicago for generations."

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City, Alderman Still On The Hook For Fire That Killed 10 Children In Little Village, Judge Says – Block Club Chicago

An attorney representing the mother of three of the children argued the city and alderman should be held accountable because there were 39 violations at the building and the city allowed people to continue to live there.

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Police Violence Protesters Arrested For Minor Crimes Won’t Be Prosecuted, Foxx Says – Block Club Chicago

The policy will apply to thousands of people arrested for things like violating the curfew or disorderly conduct in Chicago, though it excludes people who "intentionally cause[d] harm or damage." “Over the past month we have seen righteous anger, collective grief, action, and demands for justice,” said Kim Foxx, Cook County state’s attorney, in the press release. “I’m encouraged by the efforts of those who are standing against years of racial injustice to resoundingly state that ‘Black Lives Matter.’

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Foxx plans to drop charges against those arrested for curfew violations, internal email indicates – Fox Chicago

Comment: In fact, the policy applies to all charges except those who intentionally caused harm or damage.

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In New Message, Lightfoot Accuses Trump of Targeting Cities With Female Mayors – NBC5 (Chicago)

"But I've got a message for him in the common theme in these misogynistic and racist rants: the thing you need to remember, Mr. President, we are all tough women, and we're not going to take any stuff from anybody. Even if his name starts with Mr. President. I will always, I will always honor the office of the president, but please do not ask me to honor this occupant because I do not."

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‘We Are Burying Our Future’: Chicago Mayor Mourns Kids’ Deaths From Weekend Shootings – WBEZ (Chicago)

The headlines about Chicago’s gun violence have once again caught the attention of President Donald Trump, who frequently criticizes the city and state leaders here.

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1,200 Extra Cops To Patrol City During 4th Of July Weekend – Block Club Chicago

Police officers will make arrests for the two things that lead to violence — unlawful use of weapons and open air drug markets — in the leadup to and during the weekend, Brown said. Police are pleading with courts to “keep ’em in jail through the weekend” to keep down violence.

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Six Chicago children shot dead in a single week – Fox Chicago

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Chicago invests millions on south, west sides to promote development in under-served communities – WGNTV (Chicago)

The projects include the “Auburn Gresham Healthy Lifestyle Hub” and the “North Lawndale Surgical and Ambulatory Care Center,” which were finalists in a community-led and foundation-backed neighborhood revitalization effort called the “Chicago Prize.”

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‘Evil Murdering Bastards’: Chicago’s Top Cop on Who He Believes Is Behind City Violence – NBC5 (Chicago)

"So we're left with this mess as police officers because of poverty, because of no economic development, because of all the short comings in social services."

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The Pandemic Revealed Another Gap In Chicago Health Care: Hospitals Are On Their Own To Transfer Patients – WBEZ (Chicago)

“All day, it was eight to ten hours of calling to not get anywhere,” said a frustrated Heather Khan, Norwegian American Hospital’s vice president of patient care services and one of the callers.

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371 Complaints Lodged About Chicago Police Response to Protests; 56% for Excessive Force – WTTW (Chicago)

Another 25% of complaints alleged that officers violated the 4th Amendment by improperly searching them, according to the data that detailed protest-related complaints from May 29 to June 11.

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Top Cop David Brown Again Decries Lack of Consequences for Chicago Gun Offenders – WTTW (Chicago)

A visibly angry Brown on Monday said he’s not pointing the finger at the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, but he claimed there’s currently “zero consequences” following certain gun arrests, which allows the “masterminds” behind gang-on-gang violence to get back on the streets quickly.

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Wrigleyville Bars Return From Lockdown With Long Lines And Few Masks – Block Club Chicago

Some people said they do have worries about the pandemic and are concerned they’re part of the problem as cases rise throughout the country — but others said they’re young and wanted to get out during the summer.

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With Parade Canceled, Pride Returns To Protest Roots As Thousands Show Up For Black And Transgender Lives – Block Club Chicago

At the 3- mile march they spoke out against racism, police violence and Chicago’s ballooning police budget.

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City Leaders Say Politics, Economics, Unrest, And Mistrust Of Police Have Created Perfect Storm For Gun Violence In Chicago – CBS2 (Chicago)

“I’ve never, in my 45 years here, I’ve seen as much despair and hopelessness as I see right now,” said the Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church.

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Another violent weekend in Chicago, at least 61 shot, 15 dead – A.P.

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At least 4 arson fires set overnight in Lincoln Park, Lakeview – CWB Chicago

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Cops chill as Pride partiers overtake Halsted Street ’til 4 a.m. – CWB Chicago

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Ken Griffin leads donations to boost broadband for students – Crain’s

Citadel CEO Ken Griffin and other big names in Chicago business are joining a $50 million effort to provide free high-speed internet service to about 100,000 Chicago Public Schools students.

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Leaders call for protection of local journalists at ‘Save Chicago News’ rally – ABC7 (Chicago)

Labor union and political leaders joined city journalists for a "Save Chicago News" rally Saturday.

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Editorial: As Chicago’s children die, Lightfoot and Trump spar rather than collaborate – Chicago Tribune

"If you’re an elected Democrat in Illinois, you could read the above and see only the digs at your party and attempts by Trump to push his law-and-order campaign. Or you could filter out the noise and think about your terrified constituents. Trump is offering more federal support to improve policing and make cities safer."

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Retired Black Cops Kneel In Protest Against White Union Leadership – WBEZ (Chicago)

“The dues-paying FOP members of color who dared to show support for the outcry of justice from communities of color have been ostracized and threatened orally and in writing,” said Crystal King-Smith, a recently retired commander who headed the Wentworth patrol district and later the Department’s Force Review Unit.

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‘It’s Time for Change:’ Chicago Leaders Condemn Violence, Plead for Community’s Help – NBC5 (Chicago)

Ald. Bob Fioretti of the city's 2nd Ward ward took to Twitter to express his concern over the violent weekend in Chicago: “No more excuses from our political leaders. Time to stop the violence. From Sunday 6/21 to Saturday 6/27, 150 people shot, 24 fatally, in Chicago.”

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1-year-old boy killed, mom wounded in Chicago shooting – Associated Press

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Police: Stranger stabs man on street, says “Welcome to Uptown!” – CWB Chicago

It happened just after 9:30 p.m. Saturday on the 900 block of West Montrose, according to Chicago police.

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Harvey, IL looks to finish what Jake and Elwood started – Chicago Sun-Times

What, after all this time, has become of the site of the old Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, used and abused so memorably in the film? Nicholas Greifer became Harvey’s economic development director in November. He’s set about promoting key sites in Harvey for redevelopment, including the 39-acre patch of the old mall. The overall strategy is to promote Harvey for logistics and transportation, using its rail and highway links as a selling point. Greifer said the theme is “trucks, trains and technology.”

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Amid Civil Unrest, FedEx Halts Delivery To Some Black Areas In Chicago – WBEZ (Chicago)

WBEZ analyzed crime data from May 29 through June 2, when most of the civil unrest took place. The results raise questions about how the company determined which areas were safe for delivery, which ones were not, and why restrictions remained in place long after the height of unrest had subsided.

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Lightfoot’s Emergency Powers to End Tuesday – WTTW (Chicago)

In all, the city earmarked $250 million from its corporate fund to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the reports. However, just $30.7 million has been spent, according to city data.

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Lightfoot: ‘I Don’t Need Leadership Lessons From Donald Trump’ – NBC Chicago

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Newt Gingrich: Do black lives matter in Chicago? – Fox News

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‘Everything On The Table’ To Close Cook County’s $220 Million Budget Gap – WBEZ (Chicago)

County budget officials warn that more layoffs are likely if expenditures continue to outpace revenues. Many of those furloughs will be at the discretion of department heads as they prepare next year’s budget.

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Former county health chief: Racism common factor in deaths in ’95 Chicago heat wave, COVID-19 – Chicago Sun-Times

The ‘95 heatwave changed how the city responds to extreme temperatures, leading to more stringent heat emergency planning nationwide. But advocates question whether cities are adequately prepared for this summer’s collision of heat, pandemic and revolution.

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Chicago coronavirus cases in young people grow noticeably in recent weeks – ABC Chicago

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Vote by mail explodes in Chicago – Crain’s

More than 500,000 city residents will likely apply to vote by mail by early October. Anything close to that would swamp the 118,000 mail applications the board received for the March primary election. In the 2016 general election, about 93,000 city voters cast their ballots by mail.

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Does Chicago’s Guidance on Public Gatherings Defy State’s Rules? Pritzker Weighs In – NBC5 (Chicago)

Pritzker said Lightfoot hadn't called him about the city's guidelines, adding the criteria set by the state is "very clear."

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If Chicago Police Wants Witnesses To Step Up, They Have To Protect Them, Activists Say – Block Club Chicago

On the state level, a Gang Crime Witness bill introduced by State Rep. Chris Welch (D-Hillside) passed in 2013 but was never funded, according to an October WBEZ report.

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Walmart Reopening All Chicago Stores By End Of Year After Looting, Vandalism Damaged Some – Block Club Chicago

The city said the reopening of the facilities represents an investment of $35-50 million in Chicago.

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Lightfoot quotes Trump Tower website to Trump in tweet after he compared Chicago to ‘living in hell’ – Chicago Sun-Times

Lightfoot responded Friday by sharing a screenshot from trumphotels.com that featured a glowing description of Chicago, touting the city’s “acclaimed restaurants on every corner, world-class shopping along Magnificent Mile, award-winning shows, renowned history and cultural museums, and even sandy beaches.” “What’s that you say, @realDonaldTrump?” wrote the mayor.

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Black Homeowners Pay More Than ‘Fair Share’ in Property Taxes – PEW Charitable Trusts

Chicago offers a glimmer of hope, according to Aneel Chablani of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, which represented three housing organizations in a 2017 lawsuit alleging that Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios violated state and federal civil rights and housing laws by producing assessments that were unfair to poor and minority homeowners.

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New Contract for Chicago Police Brass Allows Anonymous Complaints: Lightfoot – WTTW (Chicago)

The new agreement protects the names of complainants from being disclosed to officers until immediately prior to their interview, which typically comes at the end of an investigation, according to the mayor’s office.

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2,000 Chicago Youth Will Get Summer Jobs Making Well-Being Calls, Crafting Masks To Help With Coronavirus Recovery – Block Club Chicago

The Citi Foundation is continuing to support One Summer Chicago for a seventh year, with funding that has totaled over $6 million.

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Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett report: Anytime you’re ready, Mr. Webb – Chicago Tribune

"Smollett isn’t the main issue here. The conduct of the state’s attorney’s office is. That issue isn’t one decision or action by Foxx and her prosecutors, but a weekslong series of decisions and actions."

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Lightfoot, FOP president maintain opposing views on police reform – The Today Show

"He's got his head in the sand," she said.

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Column: Skeptics Whisper Worries Chicago Top Cop Is Unprepared For Crisis – Patch Chicago

Mark Konkol: "But it's going to take more than Brown's sappy 'I believe in Chicago' rhetoric that he offered up to reporters in defense of his moonshot murder goals while talking about the 106 people who were shot over the weekend."

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The Chicago Freedom School Is Suing The City After Inspectors Cited Them For Offering Food To Protesters Trapped Downtown – Block Club Chicago

On May 30, the school at 719 S. State St., which teaches primarily Black and Brown youth the fundamentals of community organizing, acted as a refuge to protesters who were trapped downtown as curfew approached. The 10-count lawsuit alleges the victims’ constitutional right to free speech and freedom from “unreasonable illegal search” were violated.

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Exclusive: Inspector general investigating city’s pre-riot protest plans – CWB Chicago

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‘Everything is on the table,’ Cook County board President Toni Preckwinkle warns as 2021 budget gap forecasted to be largest in a decade – Chicago Tribune

The Cook County Health and Hospitals system already has laid off more than 70 nonunion administrative and manager employees to save $5 million this year and is working to eliminate or renegotiate its contracts with outside agencies to recover another $30 million. More Cook County employees could stand to see furloughs and layoffs as well.

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Trump says violence in Chicago, Baltimore, other US cities like ‘living in hell,’ in ‘Hannity’ town hall – Fox News

Trump tore into the soaring violent-crime rates in cities including Chicago and Baltimore – comparing them to Afghanistan and Honduras, and saying, “it’s like living in hell.”

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‘Only Time Will Tell’ If Lightfoot’s Sustainability Czar Can Move the Needle on Environmental Justice – Block Club Chicago

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State Preservation Agency Finally Weighs In on Obama Center, Calls for Design Review – WTTW

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Meet the Black-founded startups in Chicago that have raised $1M or more – Chicago Inno

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Wall Street Is Making Millions Off Police Brutality – Vice

Between 2008 and 2017, Chicago sold over $700 million in “police brutality bonds,” more than any other city included in the American Center on Race and the Economy’s report. Over that period, investors reportedly collected $1 billion in interest — and taxpayers spent about twice that much servicing the debt.

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2 Brothers Change Minds, Will Cooperate in Smollett Case – NBC5 (Chicago)

A 9mm handgun that was seized during a search of their home last year was located after it went missing.

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Chicago Set To Close More Streets For Outdoor-Dining Expansion – Patch Chicago

City officials also have approved permits allowing more than 30 restaurants to use parking lots for outdoor dining for up to 180 days.

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Chicago Is Bringing Free Internet Access To 100,000 CPS Students – Block Club Chicago

It’s expected to cost about $50 million over the next four years, prioritizing families in need on the city’s South and West Sides. It will be funded through a public-private partnership.

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Music Venues, Theaters Keeping Doors Shut As City Reopens: ‘More Cost-Effective To Stay Closed’ – Block Club Chicago

“It’s not like a bar — you can’t just turn the lights on,” said Robert Gomez, owner of Subterranean and Beat Kitchen, which will not host shows anytime soon. “It’s too complicated for us to responsibly consider opening at this point.”

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Chicago police launch 24/7 ‘nerve center’ to watch for crime on CTA – WGNTV (Chicago)

Officers working in the center can monitor over 4,000 surveillance cameras as well as license plate readers in the area in real-time instead of after the fact.

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What is the Chicago Police Department Budget? – Civic Federation

Excluding grant funding of $81.3 million in 2020, the Police Department budget totals $1.68 billion. The majority of this amount, $1.64 billion, is accounted for in the Corporate Fund, the City’s general operating fund.

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Can the Center Hold? Lightfoot Sure Hopes So. – Chicago Magazine

"In recent months, the mayor has stood down two of 2020’s most intemperate protest movements — right-wing maskless Covidiots and left-wing statue-toppling vigilantes."

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Editorial: Reforming Chicago police contract will only happen if the good guys step up – Chicago Tribune

"Weak discipline of officers with founded complaints of misconduct, and provisions that discourage whistleblowing of misconduct, are two areas reformers want changed in the new contract. Will members of the FOP who perform above board, with integrity and honesty — the majority — pressure their own union leaders to abandon protocols that protect bad cops?"

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Chicago Teachers Union Demands More COVID-19 Protections From City – CBS2 (Chicago)

“We don’t know what types of policies and rules will be set forth for students who are medically fragile, for workers in the Chicago Public Schools who have compromised immune systems,” said CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates. “This is what I’m saying about the priorities of the Chicago Public Schools, continuously being upside down.”

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CPS board votes to continue contract with CPD – WGNTV (Chicago)

The board voted 4-3 to keep the contract, which will be voted on later this summer. CPS CEO Janice Jackson has said changes will likely be made to the language in the new contract.

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U of Chicago Prof. Charles Lipson: Defund the Thought Police – RealClear

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FOP president calls Lightfoot’s bluff on disciplinary changes – Chicago Sun-Times

“If they want to get rid of the [sworn] affidavit, then take the residency requirement out of the frickin’ contract and also take the no-strike clause out of our contract and then, let’s see how serious you really are. Give us the same ability that teachers have and give us the ability to live outside the city and then we’ll entertain the conversation about getting rid of the affidavit,” Catanzara told the Sun-Times.

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Kim Foxx ends necktie-cutting tradition among prosecutors, claims it might be associated with lynching – Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaks at a press conference at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse after a Cook County judge overturned the convictions of 18 men who had drugs planted on them by a rogue band of Chicago police officers, Monday morning, Sept. 24, 2018. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has ended a tradition among prosecutors in her office she believes might be based on racism and lynching.

For decades, to celebrate a prosecutor’s first guilty verdict from a jury, their necktie would be cut off and placed on an office wall along with a manila folder inked with the names of the prosecutor and defendant. Female attorneys would often cut off a piece of their pantyhose, as was the case with Foxx in 2009.

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After Outcry, Aldermen Set to Study Nearly 2-Year-Old Audit That Found Problems With Officers in Schools – WTTW (Chicago)

A joint session of the City Council’s Public Safety and Education committees will examine the program at 10 a.m. July 2 — nine months after the chairs of the committees demanded answers about the original audit, issued in September 2018. The Inspector General found the program was so poorly run that it increased the “probability that students are unnecessarily becoming involved in the criminal justice system.”

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Should Chicago Tear Down Columbus Statues And Other Monuments? Aldermen Planning Ordinance To Do That – Block Club Chicago

The two aldermen also co-sponsored legislation in 2019 to officially replace the Columbus Day holiday in Chicago with Indigenous Peoples Day.

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Protesters march in the Loop as Chicago Board of Ed mulls contract with CPD – WGNTV (Chicago)

Later Wednesday, the Chicago Teachers Union will hold a caravan and march. They’re calling on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to provide adequate cleaning for schools, as well as calling on the school board to pull police out of schools. They want the money to be allocated to measures that make schools safer for students.

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‘It’s a nice hashtag’: Chicago’s Lightfoot pushes police reform, not defunding – Politico

“The status quo has failed,” she said.

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Orland Park violating Constitution by blocking people from Twitter – Illinois Leaks

"This is a textbook example of why Illinois' Freedom of Information Act needs to have criminal penalties for willful violations, and those penalties need to apply to the individual hiding records from the public."

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“There Is No Apolitical Classroom” – City Journal

The Chicago Public School district headlined its recently released “toolkit to help foster productive conversations about race and civil disobedience” with an epigraph by Angela Davis, the former Communist and criminal fugitive who supplied the guns used in the Marin Courthouse massacre in 1970. “In a racist society, it is not enough to not be non-racist,” said Davis. “We must be anti-racist.” The toolkit provides links to materials written by the Southern Poverty Law Center and directs teachers toward Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Anti-Racist.

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Imaginary Blue Flu Text – Second City Cop

Refuting an earlier CBS Chicago story.

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John Kass: What matters more? Black children like Mekhi James or big city politics? – Chicago Tribune

"The elected social justice warriors demand little or no bail for the violent who are released back onto the streets. Broken public school systems serve power interests, not the poor. Tax policy kills business and job opportunities in troubled neighborhoods."

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Chicago Public Schools Evaluating Guidelines to Bring Students Back to Classrooms – NBC5 (Chicago)

Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey criticized the guidelines laid out by the state, calling them too "vague." “Enforcing mask wearing for younger students (will be tough). I don’t know the last time you tried to put a mask on a six-year-old, but it’s not easy.”

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Where’s The Omelet? Black Lives Matter Chicago Answers George Orwell’s Question – ZeroHedge

A republication of our Wirepoints article.

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Teens are leading an effort to rename a Kenilworth school. But siblings from the family they suggested naming the school after aren’t convinced. – Pioneer Press

“I was not traumatized by the cross-burning, and I would be a rich man if I had a dime for every neighbor on our block who came out of their houses to say how disgusted they were that this had happened and who helped put out the fire,” said Calhoun, who is involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Saying Chicago police uphold ‘racist and white supremacist values,’ DePaul tutors refuse to work with officers taking classes, call for university to cut ties with department – Chicago Tribune

“A lot of our tutors are people of color and don’t feel comfortable (assisting police officers),” she said. “The general consensus was not feeling comfortable with people that make them feel unsafe and are part of a larger institution that upholds racist and white supremacist values.”

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Northwestern offers buyouts to 4,000 employees – Chicago Tribune

In May, the university announced furloughs for about 250 workers, suspended contributions to employee retirement plans and dug deeper into its endowment.

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Editorial: Make Mekhi James’ death a springboard for change on South, West sides – Chicago Tribune

"Violence metastasizes in neighborhoods when opportunity, or even the hope of it, ebbs away. It’s not enough to put more cops on the streets or revamp gang intervention strategies. Communities on the South and West sides have been withered by decades of indifference by the rest of the city — by mayors who disproportionately channeled tax dollars and attention to downtown and the North Side and by an ecosystem, including banks, that dropped investments in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. "

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Effort Designed to Keep Teens Out of Jail Badly Broken, Officials Tell Aldermen – WTTW (Chicago)

Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th Ward), the chair of the Public Safety Committee, said he was saddened to hear that city officials had decided after 14 years “of somewhat of a failure” to start from scratch. “I don’t see a bright future. If we can’t get it right, how can we expect our youth to get it right?”

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Chicago Police Illegally Denied Protesters Right To Attorney, Phone Call, Top Public Defender Says – Block Club Chicago

Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli joined a coalition of local activist and legal groups in filing the lawsuit Tuesday, alleging that police have denied Constitutional rights to arrested protesters. The plaintiffs also include Black Lives Matter Chicago, the #LetUsBreathe Collective, Stop Chicago, UMedics and GoodKids MadCity.

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Fireworks Sales Skyrocket As Chicagoans Complain Of Loud, Noisy Nights: ‘People Are Just Bored’ – Block Club Chicago

The cancellation of municipal fireworks shows as well as boredom over the last few months as people have been cooped up because of coronavirus may have led to the increase of “backyard fireworks,” said Julie Heckman, executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association.

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For one Black-owned business in Chicago, looters hit harder than the pandemic – Insider

She believes the protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing are necessary. "As an African American, I'm in complete agreement with it. But I think they lost a lot of the rationalization and why it exists when you have people come in and tear up and destroy the businesses that have also been servicing us in the same communities."

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Evanston residents join the Black Lives Matter movement – Daily Northwestern

Evanston resident Sharon Kushiner, along with others, has been holding “Defund the Police” signs in front of the Evanston Police Department for the past three Sundays. “Rather than having a protest that just brought in a whole bunch of people from surrounding communities. We would build it slowly and have it really be Evanston-focused.”  

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Partnership Seeks To Connect Investors With Projects In Chicago’s Opportunity Zones – WBEZ (Chicago)

There are nearly 200 census tracts in Chicago and suburban Cook County that qualify as Opportunity Zones. But even before the pandemic there weren’t a lot of local projects. And there’s no oversight or tracking of projects on the local or federal levels.

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After Children Killed On West Side, Officials And Activists Debate: Can Defunding Police Save More Lives? – Block Club Chicago

“This community has been drained of resources for almost 50 years now,” one West Side activist said. “If you pull everything from people and give them nothing and then this is all we’re left with, then people will start to do things that are desperate.”

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Right Now There Is A “Mad Rush” To Get Out Of The Cities – ZeroHedge

So many wealthy people are rushing to move away from the big cities that it is creating a bit of a “real estate boom” in many suburban areas, small towns and rural communities.

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Chicago Board of Education member disputes watchdog report that he did campaign work while on the clock at state job – Chicago Tribune

The Ethics Act applies when state employees engage in prohibited activity during any paid time, regardless of whether they directly solicit co-workers or use state equipment, according to the report, which added that because 15-minute breaks are paid, the rules still apply.

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Police Supt. David Brown Says Electronic Monitoring Programs Are Insufficient In Wake Of Violent Weekend, Sheriff Tom Dart Agrees – CBS2 (Chicago)

“There are too many violent offenders not in jail or on electronic monitoring, which no one is really monitoring,” Brown said Monday in the wake of the shootings.

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Text Message Urges Chicago Police Officers To Call In Sick, Limit Arrests In A ‘Blue Flu’ – CBS2 (Chicago)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s reaction was, “When something stupid like that happens to basically tell officers to abandon their post, that is the height of dereliction of duty.”

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Home sales plunged most in 12 years – Crain’s

Homes sales in the Chicago metro area last month dropped by about 40 percent compared to May 2019, and home prices went flat. The sales declines in both the city and the larger metro area were considerably larger than the nationwide figure. Home sales in May dropped by 26.6 percent across the U.S. from a year earlier.

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‘Closed for the Foreseeable Future:’ Chicago Beaches, Playgrounds to Remain Closed in Phase Four – NBC5 (Chicago)

“Where we think about pools and beaches, the water itself is not a concern for COVID spread,” the mayor said. “The risk is that people who breathe on each other have the ability to spread the virus...Unless we get into a heat emergency, we don’t have a plan to have pools open, and beaches are not open yet.”

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Editorial: Putting the blame where it squarely belongs when commercial property taxes jump – Chicago Sun-Times

"The true irresponsible parties here are Berrios, Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan — who runs a tax appeals law firm — and a small club of other tax lawyers, including Chicago Ald. Ed Burke (14th). For years, they quietly worked hand in hand to undervalue commercial properties at the expense of residential properties."

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Editorial: Stop the terror, Mayor Lightfoot – Chicago Tribune

"Of course you also have to worry about how to reopen the city without setting off an increase in COVID-19 cases. But reducing violent crime comes first. It always must come first. If Chicagoans are afraid to leave their homes and afraid of being hit by stray bullets inside their homes, hygiene lectures rapidly lose their effectiveness."

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Commentary: Chicago’s theaters won’t survive without relief – Chicago Tribune

"People point to the federal government’s financial support, but the Paycheck Protection Program doesn’t support Broadway, or Broadway In Chicago. We’re too big for PPP and too small for any major federal support. For those grateful theaters that received PPP, it ends this month even as theaters remain shut down indefinitely. The city and state are working on guidelines for this sector, but the federal government is silent on support for theater."

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After More Than 100 People Shot In Chicago, Top Cop Says Felons Need To Stay In Prison Longer – Block Club Chicago

“There’s no easy button to cutting murders down to 300 or below,” Supt. David Brown said. “What I will say, if New York can do it, if LA can do it, there’s no reason why Chicago can’t do it. And we have to believe we can do it.”

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CPS school board to vote on removing CPD from schools – WGNTV (Chicago)

According to CPS, in 2018 72 out of the district’s 93 high schools had school resources officers. That’s 77 percent. All of which, opted to keep those SROs in place for the latest school year.

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The University of Chicago Took a Stand for Free Speech. Faculty Say They Live in Fear Anyway. – Reason

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Cook County landlords get bad news about 2020 taxes – The RealDeal

Though the average residential tax bill in the north and northwest rose just 1.1 percent this year from 2019, the average bill for commercial and industrial properties rose nearly 16 percent, according to Crain’s.

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Lori Lightfoot, mayor of Chicago, on who’s hurt by defunding police – New York Times

"What I’ve learned is that the cultural dysfunction in the Police Department is so deep that it’s going to take enormous effort to disrupt it. You’ve probably seen the story of the officers in the campaign office of Bobby Rush. These — I pick my words carefully — idiots are trying to spread a defense that Bobby Rush invited them into his office."

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Chicago to move into next phase of coronavirus reopening plan Friday with the rest of Illinois – WGNTV (Chicago)

The following industries will open for the first time at the beginning of phase four in Chicago: indoor seating in bars and restaurants, museums and zoos, performance venues, summer camps and youth activities.

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102 shot, 14 fatally, over Father’s Day weekend in Chicago – Fox Chicago

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Chicago Mayor Introduces Major Reforms to Punitive Vehicle Impound Program – Reason

Last April, the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm, filed a civil rights lawsuit against Chicago, alleging that the city's impound scheme violates the Illinois and U.S. Constitution's protections against excessive fines and unreasonable seizures, as well as due process protections.

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Despite coronavirus eviction ban, some Chicago landlords are locking out tenants – Chicago Sun-Times

Once housing court reopens — Cook County’s civil courts are expected to return July 6 — there will be a backlog of cases that have been in limbo since mid-March, plus filings that were rushed in ahead of the moratorium. After July 31, advocates expect a slew of new filings.

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Some Restaurant Owners Say They Won’t Reopen With Limited Indoor Seating – CBS2 (Chicago)

So what is the level that restaurants say can work? Some owners say they can make ends meet at 50% capacity, but for others it’s 75%.

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Push for City to Take Over ComEd Fizzles For Now Amid Pandemic, Budget Crisis – WTTW (Chicago)

The push to create its own utility could cost the city between $5 billion and $10 billion — a price tag that could be covered by borrowing against future revenues, supporters say. Freshman Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st Ward) said, “I don’t think there is an appetite for risk. This is a terrible time to make decisions with long-term ramifications.”

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Two members of the Illinois Board of Education push for more action to address racism – Chalkbeat Chicago

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Commentary: Why we voted with our feet – Chicago Tribune

"We won’t be around when the state goes off the cliff, as it most certainly will. Gov. J.B. Pritzker believes he can “soak the rich” enough to fix all of Illinois’ needs. That will be the final blow that knocks Illinois into the abyss. Best I can tell, the state is being run by the public employee unions, and the thought of cutting manpower or reducing expenses is never on the table. It’s always more revenue. Well, not from me. Somebody else can turn out the lights."

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is under pressure to change the police union contract to win reforms. Here’s why that’s tougher than it sounds. – Chicago Tribune

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Austin shooting leaves child, 3, dead, Chicago police say – ABC Chicago

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Troubled Southside portfolio will sell for pennies on dollar – TheRealDeal

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Policing Isn’t The Only Problem — Defund The Cook County Jail, Too, Protesters Demand – Block Club Chicago

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Several Chase branches in Chicago temporarily close following protests over unequal lending to Black neighborhoods – USA Today

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‘The roads can’t handle that many cars’: Employers fear gridlock, economic toll if workers shun Metra, L over COVID-19 risks – Chicago Tribune

At least one business, the CBOE, explicitly asked workers and visitors to its Options Exchange trading floor, which reopened Monday, to avoid public transportation.

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What landlords need to know about Chicago’s ‘COVID-19 Eviction Protection’ ordinance – JD Supra

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Chicago Enacts COVID-19 Anti-Retaliation Measures – JD Supra

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City, State Treasurers Take On Systemic Racism In Banking – WBEZ

Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin

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Illinois Supreme Court denies Chicago police union request to destroy misconduct records – Illinois Policy

While Illinois law explicitly states union contracts trump all other state laws, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled a police contract allowing the destruction of disciplinarily records defies public policy and cannot be enforced.

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Editorial: Property taxes too high? Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi isn’t the problem – Chicago Tribune

"Property taxes are based on what governments charge residents and property owners for services. School districts, libraries, park districts, municipal and county government — they ultimately determine the property tax burden for their taxpayers based on how much they spend. For all of them, a top expense is personnel and for some, that includes paying for the pensions of retired workers. Increasingly in this state, pension costs are putting pressure on local property taxes."

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Chicago Taxi Drivers Will Get $200 A Year For PPE – CBS2 (Chicago)

Drivers have to pay for the equipment themselves first, but the city will reimburse them.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot Urges Congress To Include Mayors In Discussions Of Police Reform Legislation; ‘We’re On The Front Lines’ – CBS2 (Chicago)

“I think they’ve got to listen and invite us into the conversation. Mayors are on the front lines. We’ve been on the front lines through COVID-19. That work continues. We’re on the front lines when it comes to police reform and accountability,” she told CNN in a Skype interview.

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Chicago Prepares as Vote-By-Mail Expands Ahead of November Election – NBC5 (Chicago)

“Whether or not there's a vaccine, there's going to be a vote. And we need to do everything we can to keep our voters and our poll workers safe,” said James Allen with the Chicago Board of Elections.

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Chicago Says It Will Reform School Budgeting. Can Efforts Survive A Pandemic? – Block Club Chicago

For the last six years, the basis of Chicago’s funding formula has been to give the same per-pupil amount to individual schools, with small variations to address students’ needs and backgrounds.

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Policing Isn’t The Only Problem — Defund The Cook County Jail, Too, Protesters Demand – Block Club Chicago

According to a statement released by the sheriff’s office, even though the jail’s budget is much higher than it was in 2013, it has started to shrink in the past few years. The budget has been reduced by $42 million and the staff has dropped 600 positions since 2017, the statement said.

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Chicago Bars, Restaurants Can Open To Limited Indoor Seating Beginning June 26 – Block Club Chicago

Outdoor seating should remain the priority “for safe dining and drinking,” the city said. The city’s and state’s top doctors have said they aren’t even participating in reopened outdoor dining — let alone indoor dining.

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The Kaegi effect: Good for homeowners, bad for landlords – Crain’s

Now, with taxes calculated, we know the true impact of the Kaegi effect: The average residential property tax bill in municipalities in north and northwest suburban Cook rose just 1.1 percent this year from 2019, according to the Cook County Treasurer’s office. The average bill for commercial and industrial properties rose 15.8 percent.

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Cook County Land Bank Authority needs to take steps to avoid conflicts, auditors find – Chicago Sun-Times

The land bank still faces a broader inquiry by the Cook County inspector general’s office, also prompted by the Sun-Times report that the land bank accepted the donation of a dilapidated building owned by Chester Wilson, chief of staff to Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), wiped out more than $200,000 that Wilson owed in back property taxes, then sold the building to a Wilson business partner.

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The Facts on Race, Crime, and Policing in America – Law & Liberty

A study of 270 police shootings in Chicago from 2006 to 2014 found that the demographics of the officers who fired their weapons matched the demographics of the police department. Whites were 51 percent of the shooters and 53 percent of the force; blacks were 23 percent of the shooters and 25 percent of the force.

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Chicago aldermen get into Twitter fight after one of them complains about parking tickets – Chicago Tribune

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, 25th, said he received two tickets totaling “$300 within 12 minutes” in Ald. Brendan Reilly’s 42nd Ward. Reilly tweeted early in the exchange, "Here’s a thought: obey the parking & loading regulations on the block and you don’t get a ticket. Simple."

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Finding jobs around Chicago will be tough even as economy reopens, experts say – Chicago Sun-Times

Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of the Chicago outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said some companies are limping through the summer with bailout money from the federal Payroll Protection Program. “There are a lot of jobs that are basically on life support right now. If the demand doesn’t come back, they will be gone.”

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Orland Park sues Pritzker over COVID-19 restrictions – Daily Southtown

The lawsuit alleges the state-imposed restrictions violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution and that Pritzker overstepped his authority. Apart from the village, other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include two village residents and the co-owner of an Orland Park business.

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Lake County designated as high-intensity drug trafficking area – Daily Herald

The DEA announced the designation, which will bring the county more resources to coordinate federal, state and local government responses.

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Chicago Police Missed More Than 70% of Deadlines in First Year of Consent Decree, Report Says – NBC5 (Chicago)

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said in a joint statement saying that the report "illustrates how the level of transformational change and reform that we are working towards cannot be achieved overnight.

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What Would Equitable Housing Look Like in Chicago? – Chicago Magazine

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These private consultants are guiding the city and state’s recovery plans – Crain’s

In a little-noticed development, consultants from Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Co., working through a Chicago civic organization, have effectively staffed working groups that draft proposed rules and submit them to Gov. J.B Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot for final approval.

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Metra says coronavirus will cost it $605 million in lost revenues — $70 million more than expected — through 2021 – Chicago Tribune

All three of the metro area’s transit agencies have lost millions of dollars as a result of ridership drops, and expect to receive about $1.4 billion in federal aid under the cororavirus relief package.

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County Board advances resolution to defund police ‘to take a bold step forward to break the systemic cycle of oppression’ – Chicago Sun-Times

Among other things, the resolution states “Cook County shall redirect money from the failed and racist systems of policing, criminalization, and incarceration that have not kept our communities safe, and will instead invest that money in public services not administered by law enforcement that promote community health and safety equitably across the County, but especially in Black and Brown communities most impacted by violence and incarceration.”

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Chicago Mayor Lightfoot says Christoper Columbus statues shouldn’t be taken down – FOX News

Lightfoot added that she doesn't support changing the city's observance of the Columbus Day holiday by renaming it Indigenous People's Day, and wants to "not try to erase history, but to embrace it full-on.”

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot Says ‘It’s Way Past Time’ To Allow Indoor Dining At Restaurants – CBS2 (Chicago)

"This is something that I have been advocating for for some time, but we’ve not been able to make progress with the state, which is unfortunate,” she said.

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