Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Is Mayor Lightfoot running for a second term?

 This piece by Crain's Greg Hinz seems to hint that she may not. Although the media just about a month ago was speculating that Gov. Pritzker may not run again only for him to announce that he's running for a second term and since the primary for Governor is in June next year he might drag this process out.

Well I do expect that if Mayor Lightfoot has a deadline for a decision it'll be the same type of deadline that Mayor Rahm Emanuel used or even Mayor Richard M. Daley. Perhaps we'll know more by the fall of next year 2022 just before we cast our ballots for Governor in the general election in November. 

Meanwhile what is Hinz saying:

One thing I learned a long, long time ago is that you never believe any politician—any politician—when they respond to a question about their future political plans. They all lie. Even the best of them. So a wise person takes any pronouncements about future plans with a ton or two of salt.

That having been said, Mayor Lori Lightfoot raised eyebrows all over town today when she seemed to strongly hint in an interview with the New York Times that she may well not seek election to a second term in in 2023.

Re-upping for four more years “is not a gimme,” the mayor told the Times’ Kara Swisher, going considerably farther than she has in interviews with Chicago media.

“The toxicity of the debate, the physical and emotional toll that it’s taking on all of us, those are serious issues,” Lightfoot said. “And we have to have a — my wife and I and my daughter and my close friends and my team, we have to have a serious conversation about why and what that would look like and what we believe that we would be able to accomplish.”

I think this is true considering the challenges - including the pandemic for sure.

Besides, calling it quits at a time of pandemic and soaring violent crimes is becoming a habit among other city chief executives, Lightfoot added. “This is a tough time for mayors all across the country,” she said, mentioning both Atlanta’s Keisha Lance Bottoms and Seattle’s Jenny Durkan.

We are in tough times right now and I can believe even a very strong chief executive probably would want to just step away.

Here's another thought:

One heavy hitter I spoke with who’s been of help to Lightfoot said the transcript of the interview suggests to him she’s “getting ready to walk away from the job.” That source pointed to the mayor’s fund-raising, which after a pretty good first quarter dried up in the second quarter, with Lightfoot for Chicago pulling in just $10,067 in the three months ended June 30, leaving the mayor with a sizable but not overwhelming $1.790 million in the bank.

Well it was noted in this piece that the Mayor said she came into office to push people out of their "comfort zones". Do you believe she was successful in that?

Do you think she should run for a second term? Do you think she's had a successful tenure so far? 

If yout want to check out the interview with the NY Times click here. Unfortunately you have to sign up for an "free" subscription with the NY Times to listen to the interview or to read the transcript.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Capitol Fax: More than half of Illinoisans are now fully vaccinated

 I wanted to share this with you and then a recent story from WGN about the Delta variant that we're sure going to hear a lot more about. One possible way to avoid infection with this coronavirus variant is to get vaccinated and as always I urge you all to ask all the questions you can of a doctor with regards to this vaccine. Especially if you're most at risk - especially pre-existing conditions - for coronavirus.

Here's what CapFax says and perhaps the report itself isn't as shown in an update to the post. Perhaps we're a few days away to getting at least 50% of Illinois' population vaccinated.

And now this recent story about this Delta variant which is the new concern with an uptick of cases. I wish I could say we're out of this pandemic at the same time I can see the media playing up the panic on this. This is why I urge you all to get vaccinated especially if you have any pre-existing conditions. And don't be afriad to ask any questions of a doctor if your vax-hesitant. [VIDEO]

Sunday, July 18, 2021

79th Street from the bus


[VIDEO] I'm sharing this with you as hopefully some of you ride route 79 through the Chatham neighborhood. And perhaps some of you may travel further east towards Jeffrey Blvd as YouTuber DrilTrill does on July 16th. We hear a lot of loud noises because sometimes people talk loudly on public transportation.

And to those people who talk on their phones we don't need to hear your address and we don't need to hear your social security number. If you're handling personal business like that please exercise some discretion as you don't know who's quietly listening.

Aside from that tangent we don't know if someone is talking on their phone or not I do know at the beginning we hear someone loudly letting the bus driver know that they're getting off the bus. Either way anyone reading this blog ride the 79 bus. Have any interesting experiences to share?

Thursday, July 15, 2021

CAN-TV Political Forum: Ald. Raymond Lopez (Ward 15)


[VIDEO] Ald. Lopez is a vocal critic of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and here he is on a recent edition of Political Forum on CAN-TV talking about what's going on in his ward and certainly what's going on in the city of Chicago right now. If you want to hear from your Alderman (or is it Alderperson which just doesn't sound right) especially if you live in Ward 15 here you go!

If nothing else, Ald. Lopez seems to genuinely care about a ward that seemingly has often been neglected over the years. And it has been devastated in the past year not only by the pandemic or civil unrest but by the high incidents of violent crime in the city.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Chicago Tonight: Judge Timothy Evans responds to blame on courts for crime spike


[VIDEO] Since he was mentioned in the comments on this blog we hear from Chief Cook County Judge Timothy Evans on Chicago Tonight who answering to the criticism of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Supt. David Brown as far as the recent spike in crime. The Mayor and Supt believes the courts aren't upholding their part in upholding the law even as police officers are taking people charged with murder off the street.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Chicago Tonight: Efforts to Draw New Chicago Ward Map Getting Started


[VIDEO] If you believe Ald. Roberto Maldonaldo the priority of the city council's Latino Caucus is to draw a map that gives the Latino community better representation. Also discussions have already started among members of the City Council to start the process and that the city is also looking to make a purchase of map making software for the city's "maproom". Maldonaldo is also hoping that there won't be the same type of drama that took place during this time a decade ago with previous Mayor Rahm Emanuel. I hope so as well.

Also noted here is an independent commision the Chicago Advisory Redistricting Committee which is working on their own proposal for a new ward map.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Capitol Fax: As expressway shootings surge, state still working on cam contract

 Quite a few expressway shootings have happened on the Dan Ryan or the Bishop Ford aka Calumet Expressways or even on I-57 as you head west beyond 95th from the Dan Ryan. One solution is an "expressway cam" there are already 600 up that don't show video. And also a quick fact arrests are rare in these expressway shootings.

This is why I'm sharing yesterday's post from CapFax that shares some information about this issue.

I don't know if anyone who's reading this blog has experienced an expressway shooting and the disruptions that it creates. However we want to get to where we want to go safely and this is also worth discussing with your state legislators.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Tired of the fireworks?

 It seems to be something of a yearly tradition the fireworks started not long before the Fourth of July. I recall last year as the city was undergoing some major riots in downtown Chicago the fireworks were going off that evening near the end of May 2020. 

Recently at Concerned Citizens of Chatham, Worlee Glover listed a number of local state legislators to take up the issue of those untaxed Indiana fireworks flowing into the city. What can state gov't do about the issue these fireworks?

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Did you hear about a shooting at 87/Dan Ryan late last month?


[VIDEO] I've wanted to post this since I found out about this on social media. The video above was posted to CBS Chicago's YouTube channel on June 25 and if I got the timing correct as I listen to the narration by reporter Charlie Del Mar this incident occurred the day before on a Thursday morning.

The man who recorded this dramatic footage Huber Pereznegron was sitting right behind when he sees a gunman get out of a vehicle to shoot at another vehicle somewhere ahead of them. This is a very scary situation to be a witness to and thankfully Pereznegron and his passenger weren't hurt in this incident.

This all happened at 87th and the Dan Ryan we know this is often a busy thoroughfare. How many people shop at that Jewel-Osco or go to that Chipotle or Wendy's? Conversely how many people shop at that Home Depot, Marshall's, or Food 4 Less?  How many people hear about this incident and choose not to go into those stores even if this is a rare incident?

Be careful out there.

WGN: Over 60 arrested after chaos ensues in Chicago's Loop


[VIDEO] I think what was alluded to by these WGN anchors on Monday was the planning and assurance by the Chicago Police there won't be many issues then we hear over 60 people were arrested causing issues in the Loop. We hear about a large crowd (or mob) of unruly young people came downtown setting off fireworks and setting fires in garbage cans.

This seems to be a recurring theme unfortunately. Often we're hearing about large gatherings of young people in downtown Chicago. And sometimes they do cause issues.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Chicago Tribune: No bail for 55-year-old man arrested in fatal CTA bus stabbing in Chatham

This is very scary. You may have heard about the fatal stabbing on the Cottage Grove bus near 87th on Friday:

Van Crocker is accused of stabbing a 66-year-old man around 4:30 p.m. Friday on a CTA bus near 8600 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

According to prosecutors, after paying the bus fare and standing in front of the victim, Crocker pulled out a knife and stabbed the man in the chest.

The bus driver notified police. Officers arrived at the scene and recovered the knife from the defendant’s hand, prosecutors said. The stabbing was captured on CTA surveillance video.The 66-year-old man was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Crocker made admissions that he wanted to kill the man when he stabbed him, prosecutors said. Crocker and the man did not know each other.

Crocker’s public defender said he has a GED from Hirsch Metropolitan High School. She argued that Crocker has mental health issues and did not have the capacity during the stabbing or during interrogation by officers and was not checked for mental health conditions by officers.

Judge Arthur Willis denied Crocker bail, citing a threat posed by him to people in the community.

He wanted to kill the man on that bus but they didn't know each other. Be careful out there everyone. 

Here's a brief video from WBBM-TV about this story Crocker was in bond court on Sunday [VIDEO]

CBS Chicago: Could Armed Security Guards Be Coming To CTA Buses, Trains?


[VIDEO] Very interesting armed guards on CTA buses and trains. The last time this was proposed it was back when CTA eliminated the job of conductor on all rail lines just over 20 years ago. There were two people on the train usually at all times and perhaps more than that back when CTA personnel could actually collect fare on the trains - like Metra still does.

I think the transit union proposed a transit police. Other transit authorities around America has their own transit police such as MARTA (Atlanta), BART (San Francisco), or even WMATA (Washington Metro). Of course this is about using armed security not creating a police force for CTA.

It's perfectly reasonable at least from the transit union representative Keith Hill that there are routes on CTA that are in need of a security presence to back up bus drivers and certainly rail operators. They even noted an incident where a disgruntled passenger shot at a bus when the driver requested the passenger wear a face mask.

I do sometimes wish there were some security who could get the homeless off the train once it stops at 95th like they used to. Perhaps another thing the union could ask for.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Capitol Fax: Um, mayor? What the heck?

 Rich Miller covers the FOIA request over emails from Mayor Lori Lightfoot and it's not good. Perhaps many are accusing the mayor of not treating the people who work for her very well. In fact one email that I noticed over the weekend shows her writing repeatedly about how she needs office time. 

I liken that to having to write things over and over again as punishment as perhaps my class had to do in grammar school. Not fun and jarring to see a politician do something similar.

I just had to share this from the blog
…Adding… I didn’t notice this at the end of the Politico story
The mayor’s job is tough. It’s not hard to imagine her predecessors — Rahm Emanuel or Richard M. Daley — erupting similarly. Hers was just memorialized in an email.
Um, no.

 Hmmmm, being Mayor of Chicago is a tough job. And I have a difficult time believing her immediate predecessors Daley and Emanuel would've had their behavior immortalized in an email that could be FOIA'd.

When I get elected to something I need to avoid using email or any private messaging. While not transparent it seems smart....

Friday, June 11, 2021

Today is the day we're back to normal

 I'm sharing the tweets from Gov. Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot the state of Illinois is fully reopened and so is the city of Chicago. You still have to wear your mask on CTA regardless of whether or not your vaccinated. And not to confuse you most anywhere else other than on CTA, if you've been vaccinated you don't need your mask.

However as far as "normalcy" we're back to where we were before the pandemic and before the initial mitigations or the stay-at-home order from March 2020. We had a rough year, but we've made it. I don't need to tell you that coronavirus is still out there so it always pays to take your precautions.

Most importantly if you're most at risk for this tricky virus please get vaccinated as it's of no cost to you. Also if you're hesitant always ask questions of a doctor or someone in the healthcare field.

Here's a quick report from WGN [VIDEO]

And here are the tweets. Starting from Mayor Lightfoot

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

CBS Chicago: Urban Prep Charter Academy teachers enters 2nd day of strike


[VIDEO] I don't know how many families who read this blog are affected by this, however, there is a strike at an charter school in Englewood. Urban Prep is known as an all-male charter school with locations in Englewood, Bronzeville and the West Side. There were three years of negotiation and one sticking point is pay, teachers at Urban Prep are paid less than those hired by Chicago Public Schools.

Another sticking point is special education that teachers don't stay at Urban Prep long enough to meet the needs of special education students and lack those resources.