New Cloutcast Episode: Kaegi's Relection Pitch

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    Ald. Michelle Harris (8) and Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36) speak during a Monday Rules Committee hearing on ward mapping. 

    An apparent plan to unveil a city-backed ward map proposal was scuttled Monday, just two days before a critical deadline to approve a new map as aldermen dug into each other in a fracas over the process by which the map is being drawn. 

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    Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered an update on the city’s response to a new variant of COVID-19. Cook County released a Request for Proposals for off-site renewable power generation. And a meeting designed to put Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi face-to-face with Chicago aldermen was postponed until next month.

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    Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi outlined his reelection pitch in an interview on the CloutCast podcast. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    Three years after Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi rode into office on a promise of reform and predictability, he’s facing a primary challenger trying to capitalize on what she’s calling three years of tumult and confusion.

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    A map of Chicago's existing 50 wards. Aldermen have until Wednesday to approve a new 

    Updated November 29, 7:52 a.m. The Chicago City Council is set to hold a flurry of public meetings this week to hammer out a new ward map — but the council's Caucus pulled back on special meeting it had called for Monday morning.

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    Ald. David Moore (17) earlier this month proposed a measure that would establish an anti-littering campaign in the city. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    A proposal from a South Side alderman would direct the city’s chief sustainability officer to establish a citywide campaign to combat littering — an issue regularly broached by aldermen during city budget hearings.

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    Members of the Aldermanic Black Caucus announced their ward map proposal on Monday. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    The Aldermanic Black Caucus on Monday unveiled its proposal to draw 17 majority-African American wards — a concession after caucus leaders had vowed to keep the 18 majority-Black wards drawn in 2012. But their plan still only maps out 14 majority-Latino wards, a setup the Latino Caucus calls “problematic.” 

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    A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at the mass vaccination site in the Jones Convocation Center on the campus of Chicago State University on April 7, 2021. [Colin Boyle/Block Club]

    This article was first published in Block Club Chicago.

    More than 92 percent of city workers have reported their vaccination status, according to a Monday news release.

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    Students pretend to be airplanes as they walk to the playground at Carole Robertson Center for Learning in Little Village last spring. Chicago Public Schools saw some of its steepest enrollment losses in that neighborhood during the pandemic. [Youngrae Kim for Chalkbeat]

    This story was originally published by Chalkbeat. Sign up for their newsletters at ckbe.at/newsletters

    Hammond Elementary, a predominantly Latino school in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood, lost almost 30% of its enrollment during the pandemic, shrinking to about 250 students from a peak of more than 500 back in the mid-2010s.

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    House Majority Leader Greg Harris will step down at the end of his current term in January 2023, he announced Monday.

    House Majority Leader Greg Harris (D-Chicago) will not run for reelection in 2022, capping his state house tenure at 16 years, he announced on Monday. The news set off a starting gun on what is sure to be a crowded and expensive open race to represent the North Side Chicago district, an area one political consultant called “one of the most politically engaged districts in the state.”

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    Illinois schools saw setbacks to students’ academic progress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new data shows. [Unsplash/CDC]

    Enrollment, graduation rates and math proficiency rates have all ebbed in Illinois schools during the last year, according to data released this month from the Illinois State Board of Education.

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    Cook County Judge Lorraine Murphy swears in firefighter Michael Kelly as the new state representative for the Illinois 15th House District. [39th Ward Democratic Organization]

    Firefighter Michael Kelly, a self-described “center Democrat” and ally of retired Rep. John D’Amico (D-Chicago), is the newest member of the Illinois House of Representatives after being blessed by a gaggle of local Democratic Party officials late Tuesday.

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    Home heating will become more expensive this winter for more than a dozen Illinois counties. [Unsplash via @realaxer]

    On Thursday, the Illinois Commerce Commission voted unanimously to approve a $240.2 million rate hike requested by Nicor Gas in January.

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    Five of the seven candidates (lower two rows) to replace John D’Amico in the 15th House District took part in a 39th Ward Neighbors United candidate forum on Saturday. 

    A community organizer, a municipal financial consultant, a former president of the Chicago Bar Association, a community college professor and a former Democratic volunteer are among the candidates who will vie on Tuesday to replace Rep. John D’Amico (D-Chicago) in the 15th House District after his Nov. 5 resignation. 

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    Rep. Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights), who sponsored a bill to phase out the use of prone restraint in schools, said lawmakers will track implementation but are unlikely to follow up with additional legislation.

    After a bombshell investigation revealed the use of brutal practices of restraining and isolating students in Illinois schools last year, state officials responded quickly. 

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    Rep. Denyse Stoneback (D-Skokie) and Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) speak during a House Housing Committee meeting on Tuesday.

    An Illinois House committee on Tuesday held the second of three public hearings set to discuss the future of affordable housing in Illinois. The hearing was led by the chair of the Housing Committee, Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago), who called for the state to prioritize affordable housing with the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) monies streaming into state capitals including Springfield. 

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