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That toddlin’ town roundup

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* WBEZ has a good story up about homeless people and mass transit in Chicago

There are about 3,000 available shelter beds in the city, according to DFSS. But the system that manages the shelters counted 11,683 active clients — or unhoused people already in the system — as of early March. And as of this week, another 4,414 Chicagoans were waitlisted for housing support services.

“The shelter beds available are just a fraction of what we actually need,” said Niya Kelly, the director of state legislative policy for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. […]

“As far as beds go, there’s just no availability,” said Stephannie Schreiber, the Night Ministry case manager. “We call 311 to try and find them shelter. But personally, I have never successfully been able to get someone a bed.” […]

When asked what it is doing to address a more systemic issue, a DFSS spokesperson said that as of 2023, the department is allocating an additional $3.7 million annually to increase shelter funding. The spokesperson did not disclose exactly where that money is going.

* On to the campaign. Tribune

Asked about his previous support for the “defund the police” movement — including a declaration that it isn’t a slogan but a “real political goal” — Johnson said, “I said it was a political goal. I never said it was mine.”

Oh, please. He said the defund the police cause was “not only admirable but it’s necessary.” Click here and watch it yourself. The Trib story has more examples.

* Back to the Tribune

Vallas, meanwhile, was asked about his calls to “take the handcuffs off the police,” which he denied.

“Well, please let me know where I said that because … I’ve avoided using that rhetoric, and if I haven’t, I’d be surprised by that quote, because I’ve been careful not to say that one,” Vallas said. […]

When he rolled out his public safety plan in December, however, Vallas said he would reverse rules that have “literally handcuffed officers,” according to WTTW, contributing to demoralization and making “proactive policing” impossible. […]

He has also made posts on Facebook and Twitter criticizing local leaders and state legislation for what he said was “handcuffing” police.

One example…

Maybe he was hacked. /s

* Media advisory from yesterday…

The Vallas for Mayor campaign will announce major endorsements in separate press conferences Wednesday morning – highlighted by the endorsement of a candidate who ran in the mayoral election – as well as three City Council members and an incoming alderman, who will lend their support to the Vallas public safety plan as well as Paul’s commitment to equity for all Chicago communities.

Two press conferences are scheduled as follows:

· 9 AM - ALDERMEN ENDORSE VALLAS – Vallas Chinatown Campaign Office, 2355 S. Wentworth

Paul will be endorsed by Alderman Nicole Lee (11th), Alderman Samantha Nugent (39th), Alderman Debra Silverstein (50th), and incoming Alderman Bennett Lawson (44th).

· 10:30 AM - MAYORAL CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENT – Vallas Campaign Headquarters, 328 S. Jefferson, 8th Floor

Paul will be endorsed by yet another candidate from the mayoral race adding to the list of Dr. Willie Wilson and Alderman Roderick Sawyer.

It turned out to be Ja’Mal Green…

Yet another shield against those who would accuse Vallas of racism.

* AG Raoul is a former prosecutor and is definitely not a police defunder, so regardless of this odd spin, it’ll help

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is endorsing Brandon Johnson for Chicago mayor, a move that raises the stakes on endorsements on the same day Paul Vallas announced his own big backer.

With crime issues at the center of the mayor’s race, support from the state’s chief law enforcement officer could be huge in swaying moderate Democrats who have been hesitant to support Johnson, a progressive who in the past has invoked the “defund” movement.

The endorsement by Raoul, the first state-wide elected official to endorse in the race, also raises questions about why the state’s chief investigator would endorse in the mayor’s race since his office would also be charged with investigating that office. Gov. JB Pritzker isn’t endorsing either candidate.

* More developments…

* Not a surprise…

Citizen Action/Illinois is proud to announce the organization’s endorsement of Brandon Johnson for Mayor of Chicago.

The endorsement was made by a vote of the Citizen Action/Illinois Policy Council, a body of 50 organizational affiliates and individual leaders including elected officials at the Congressional, state and local levels.More than two-thirds of the voting members of the Policy Council supported the endorsement.

“As a Cook County Commissioner, Brandon Johnson has a proven record of fighting for the issues that face the city’s working families. As an organizer for the Chicago Teachers Union, he brought the voice of educators and their communities to our coalition,” Citizen Action/Illinois Co-Director William McNary said. “We look forward to working with him to improve the lives of all Chicagoans.”

“Brandon Johnson will bring compassionate, thoughtful leadership to City Hall at a time when we face historic challenges,” Co-Director Julie Sampson said. “No one is better poised to bring the city together and lead a multi-racial, multi-generational coalition than a former educator. His energy and ideas are the driving force behind the groundswell of voters calling for change at City Hall.”

* Press release…

A broad coalition of City Council members today called for a special meeting next week to consider proposed rule changes that would establish City Council independence, removing decades of mayoral control, in addition to other changes to improve city governance.

The proposal is a seismic shift for the City Council, establishing its independence and removing power from mayors who in recent decades have exclusively selected committee chairs. But on the cusp of an historic mayoral election, and with significant turnover in the City Council, members are proposing rule changes and making this critical change for the future of city government.

Proposed rule changes would increase council independence, minimize mayoral influence over council deliberations, provide for increased transparency of committee business, and provide new ways for committees to operate. Among the rule changes, the council is considering:

    • Only gender-neutral references included in the rule book;
    • Increased number of committees;
    • Creating Council’s own Office of Legislative Counsel;
    • Additional transparency on how direct introductions of ordinances can be made and posted;
    • The provision on two or more committees being called; and
    • Allowing for electronic dissemination of materials.

With the proposed rule changes, Chicago would join other legislative bodies in the country as an independent, co-equal branch of city government.

* Isabel’s Chicago roundup…


  1. - R.J. - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 11:34 am:

    Disappointed that Raoul waded into this, especially to back a candidate who yesterday was unclear on whether he still wants to defund the police. I’d thought he would stay on the sidelines like Pritzker is doing.

    And impressed that Ja’Mal Green had the guts to endorse Vallas, since he’ll now be attacked by every progressive in Chicago as a traitor.

  2. - Chicago Blue - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 11:35 am:

    Someone is going to have to explain the thinking behind Ja’Mal Green backing Vallas to me. Because on the surface, it feels easy to be cynical about his motivations in backing a candidate whose policies are in complete opposition to everything Green ran on.

  3. - Roadrager - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 11:36 am:

    The takeaway I keep getting from Brandon Johnson is that he’s the candidate with better ideas, and basically no concept of how to explain or implement them. He keeps dropping these references to Harold, but Harold was an excellent and active communicator who knew how to play the game. Johnson’s campaign seems dependent on Vallas kicking himself in the sensitive region, which is something you can’t rely on in a favorable matchup, much less one against a perennial candidate sitting on a mound of Ken Griffin (adjacent) money.

    He’s going to get stomped and then the city’s going to get sold off piecemeal for four years. Also, good luck with the forthcoming six-month CTU strike.

  4. - Roadrager - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 11:37 am:

    ==Someone is going to have to explain the thinking behind Ja’Mal Green backing Vallas to me. Because on the surface, it feels easy to be cynical about his motivations in backing a candidate whose policies are in complete opposition to everything Green ran on.==

    See also “Fioretti, Robert (Bob).”

  5. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 11:38 am:

    ===Someone is going to have to explain the thinking behind Ja’Mal Green backing Vallas to me. Because on the surface, it feels easy to be cynical about his motivations in backing a candidate whose policies are in complete opposition to everything Green ran on.===

    Is “on the surface” a synonym for “the truth”?

  6. - Lakeview Fisherman - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 11:45 am:

    The Angela Clay story from Greg Hinz is interesting. He may have missed one loan. “Angela Clay” could be a common name though, but the dollar amounts and type of business are the same.

    The Hinz story says this:

    “Clay shows up in federal records as having received two loans, each for $20,833, in March and April 2021 from the PPP program, a widely used COVID-relief program in which businesses received loans that eventually were forgiven if they kept workers on the payroll.”

    This federal links shows something a bit different.

    ALERT: There are 3 PPP loans for a total of $62,498 in our database for businesses with the name “Angela Clay” in Chicago, IL. This this is typically due to the same business receiving both first and second-draw loans, but may also include similarly named but unrelated businesses, multiple branches of the same business, mistaken multiple applications, or potential fraud. Click each loan below to see full details.

    $20,832 Loan - Sole Proprietorship - May, 2021

    Chicago, IL 60629
    Lender: Prestamos CDFI, LLC

    $20,833 Loan - Sole Proprietorship - April, 2021

    Chicago, IL 60637
    Lender: Benworth Capital

    $20,833 Loan - Sole Proprietorship - March, 2021

    Chicago, IL 60637
    Lender: Fountainhead SBF LLC

    So that’s three individual loans taken out from three different lenders for three consecutive months all in the same exact payout amount.

    Two different addresses though. One on Wabash and one one Mozart.

    This slightly different federal database shows that.

    Different Angela Clay? Maybe, but seems unlikely.

    She no longer lives at either address. Like Paul Vallas she moved in time to run for election.

  7. - Big Dipper - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 11:52 am:

    Wow he has some heavyweight endorsements with Green and Wilson.

  8. - Amalia - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 12:08 pm:

    “Maybe he was hacked.” or maybe he’s playing like a hack. That Ja’Mal Green has certainly surprised/angered lots of people who support him. But he’s a player, and players gonna play.

  9. - Anon324 - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 12:27 pm:

    ==Someone is going to have to explain the thinking behind Ja’Mal Green backing Vallas to me.==

    The Sun-Times has an article with quotes from Green explaining his rationale. Obviously free to take or leave his explanation, including the hedge about a job.

  10. - Rudy’s teeth - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 12:36 pm:

    Kwame Raoul might have stepped away from an endorsement in the mayor’s race. It serves no purpose at this point. Kinda reminds me of Elizabeth Warren’s endorsement of a candidate.

    Of course, Jaymal Green will use any and all opportunities to speak and to mingle with a crowd. It reveals more about opportunity than support.

  11. - Always something - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 12:42 pm:

    Assuming Jaymal has good support among the young people who actually did vote–and that they follow his lead (big assumption), bad news for Brandon. He needs to draw an inside straight to win and any leakage is bad news for him. And Brandon’s lie today about not supporting defund police hurts him both ways. Nobody believes him on one side and the progressives will be angry at him for jumping ship. He’s a talented guy His campaign advisers are not.

  12. - Soccermom - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 12:43 pm:

    Ja’Mal called me a couple of times to ask for money. To make it seem like we’re friends, he used a shortened version of my name that I haven’t used since I was a high school freshman trying to seem cooler than I was. (By which I mean, even a tiny bit cool.) After a few months, I realized I was never going to fool anyone into thinking I was a cool girl, and I went back to my regular Alcott-approved name.

    I mention this because he got off on the wrong foot and then just hopped on it for a while.

    Yes, Ja’Mal, I give way too much money to progressives. And I appreciate your taking one name off my donation list permanently.

    Love, “Soc”

  13. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 1:13 pm:

    “We cannot handcuff CPD”

    Throwing more cops at the problem is the same old band-aid for many who couldn’t care less what happens on a daily basis in the troubled neighborhoods that struggle with poverty and forces Vallas and other privileged can’t even imagine.

    Plans are needed to reduce crime at the roots and invest in historically struggling communities. Vallas is all about the same old cops and fear: I’ll make you safe again. Then you can be oblivious to troubled neighborhoods again. Rinse and repeat. What’s the plan on community investment?

  14. - thisjustinagain - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 1:17 pm:

    Ref smoking citations by CPD: The true measure of success or failure of enforcement is whether the violations decrease or not. Whether the fines are paid or not is the wrong measure to judge by.

  15. - Politix - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 1:52 pm:

    Where’d Vallas get the idea police aren’t allowed to fight crime? They are always welcome to do their jobs.

  16. - JoanP - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 2:52 pm:

    = Vallas said he would reverse rules that have “literally handcuffed officers,” =

    I have not noticed any police officers with their hands cuffed.

    Vallas needs to look up the definition of “literally”. (Okay, I admit it, I can get pedantic, but this misuse drives me crazy - NOT “literally”.)

  17. - Corruption Committee - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 3:00 pm:

    Ja’Mal Green’s endorsement seems like a cigar that will soon explode.

  18. - Sue - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 4:18 pm:

    Hoping for a twofer- Vallas wins while at the same time CTU is forced to file bankruptcy when it is unable to repay its multi- million loan if has taken out to finance Johnson’s election. I am certain the average rank in file CTU member was delighted with their 96 dollars in annual dues increases the CTU imposed as it was contributing another million to Johnson. Unless your a teacher- why would any city resident want the CTU essentially running City Hall?

  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 4:20 pm:

    ===I am certain===

    Certain of what, exactly.

    What makes you think CTU is going to go bankrupt?

    It’s a bit early to be imbibing, no?

  20. - low level - Wednesday, Mar 15, 23 @ 9:53 pm:

    ==CTU is forced to file bankruptcy when it is unable to repay its multi- million loan==.

    Im voting for Vallas, but this statement is ridiculous.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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