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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Monday, Feb 26, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Crain’s

With the Chicago White Sox and Bears both in the hunt for taxpayers’ help building new stadiums, the city’s women’s professional soccer team has a message for local and state lawmakers: Count us in, too.

New Chicago Red Stars principal owner Laura Ricketts and team President Karen Leetzow met with Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch last week and are expected to meet soon with Illinois Senate President Don Harmon to discuss the National Women’s Soccer League club’s inclusion in any discussions about public funding for new Chicago sports team stadiums, according to people close to the franchise. The Red Stars did not have a specific request for Welch or top state political leaders to consider, according to sources, but are said to be working on a formal proposal to put before lawmakers for a new soccer venue in Chicago as part of any potential Sox or Bears stadium legislation. […]

“Over the last century, as local and state governments have invested in professional sports stadiums, women’s professional teams have never been included,” Leetzow said in a statement to Crain’s. “A true commitment to equity means that women’s sports have a seat at the table when there are discussions about public/private partnerships to build the next generation of sports stadiums. This is a historic opportunity for Illinois leaders to make a major statement that women in sports are just as important as men in sports.”

…Adding… Press release…

The following is a joint statement from the Illinois Latino Agenda, Latino Leadership Council, and the HLAI- Serving the Hispanic Lawyers of Illinois in response to Justice Joy Cunningham’s comment in the Daily Line, “to suggest that our Supreme Court is not diverse because it does not have a Latino on it, in many respects really makes no sense…I think when the court was completely male and completely white, then you could call it a non-diverse court. But now it has five women; it has three Black people.”

“We are shocked by Justice Joy Cunningham’s statements that imply our state’s highest court is ‘diverse enough’ without the presence of a Latino Justice. Diversity, equity, and inclusion is not a zero-sum game.

“We applaud that our highest court has more women and Black justices, however, that does not diminish the need for Latino representation. Such remarks not only overlook the critical importance of inclusive representation but also ignore the unique perspectives and contributions that a qualified Latino justice could bring to our judiciary. To suggest otherwise sets diversity, equity, and inclusion advancements in America, and the legal field, back decades.

“Latinos make up more than 26% of the population in Cook County and 18% in the state, yet there’s never been anyone on the state’s Supreme Court with the lived experience to truly understand the needs of our community and how the laws of our state impact our lives. This perspective is essential for a judiciary that aims to serve justice equitably and with a deep understanding of all its constituents.

“We cannot dismiss the lack of equitable representation on the Court and we certainly cannot accept the failure to recognize the importance of having a more inclusive court. Equity is not only a matter of fairness, but also a matter of justice and democracy, to ensure all perspectives and experiences are valued and respected in our legal system. It is incumbent upon us to advocate for a judiciary that mirrors the diversity of its people, ensuring justice that is informed, equitable, and inclusive for all.”

* Politico

— Dick Uihlein, the billionaire Republican donor, has just plunked $150,000 into state Rep. Chris Miller’s campaign fund. Miller doesn’t have a race but is running to be an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention.

— Gov. JB Pritzker hit Las Vegas on Saturday to kick off a signature-gathering campaign to qualify an abortion rights constitutional amendment for the 2024 Nevada ballot. Pic!

— Endorsements: The Teamsters Joint Council 25 is out with its endorsements for the March 19 primary. It’s backing state Sen. Natalie Toro, who’s in a competitive race in District 20 (see above), and Michael Crawford in the state House District 31 race over incumbent state Rep. Mary Flowers. Here’s the full list.

* Heather Cherone

* What’s your favorite made in Illinois product?…

* Here’s the rest…

    * Shaw Local | Illinois lawmaker to join Bolingbrook event on abolition of cash bail: The Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice coalition will hold the event from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fountaindale Public Library District, 300 W. Briarcliff Road, Bolingbrook. State Rep. Dagmara Avelar, D-Romeoville, will join the event as a special guest.

    * Sun-Times | Gov. Pritzker says he’s ‘reluctant’ to help subsidize White Sox stadium in South Loop: The Democratic governor also said a new $1.2 billion South Loop stadium isn’t high on his priority list. “The idea of taking taxpayer dollars and subsidizing the building of a stadium as opposed to, for example, subsidizing the building of a birthing center, just to give the example, does not seem like the stadium ought to have higher priority.”

    * Tribune | White supremacist group’s anti-Semitic comments are cut off at Evanston City Council meeting: The incident began during in-person public comment at the Feb. 22 meeting where council was set to discuss the 15-year lease of a downtown office for city operations. A man who identified himself as Sunny came up to the podium clad in sunglasses and a hat bearing the logo of the Goyim Defense League and began spouting anti-Semitic rhetoric. The group has been deemed an anti-Semitic, white supremacist hate group by the Anti-Defamation League.

    * WBEZ | The Democrats running to replace State’s Attorney Kim Foxx answer five key questions: WBEZ nailed them down on five pressing policy questions. Our instructions to them were simple: Begin each answer with “yes” or “no” and, then, feel free to explain or add nuance. We have lightly edited the answers for typos, grammar, style consistency and length.

    * Tribune | Cook County judge denies extension on stoppage of police discipline cases:The ruling from Judge Michael T. Mullen came after an hour of arguments from attorneys for the city and Fraternal Order of Police. Disciplinary cases before the police board — 21 in all — were paused late last month after the City Council again voted to reject a provision of the tentative police union contract concerning the most serious police misconduct allegations.

    * Illinois Times | City may pay $95,000 to settle civil rights complaint: Springfield city officials are asking the City Council to approve a $95,000 settlement of a civil rights complaint filed by a transgender former city employee who was denied medical coverage for gender-affirming care. The proposed ordinance, which went through first reading on Feb. 20 and is scheduled for a council vote March 5, would allocate $70,000 to settle Katherine Anastacia Holt’s compensatory damages claim. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, which provided legal representation to Holt, would receive $25,000 in the settlement.

    * Sun-Times | Suburban woman who claims she was misled by Vietnamese ‘influencer’ gets 10 days in Jan. 6 case: Nhi Ngoc Mai Le pleaded guilty in November to disorderly conduct in a Capitol building or grounds, and to parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building, both misdemeanors. She was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan.

    * Daily Herald | The Central Tri-State Tollway is getting smarter with addition of digital messaging: Similar to the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) SmartRoad, the Tri-State version will feature overhead gantries with traffic messages and alerts. That includes digital signs with arrows indicating what lanes are open and a message board with up-to-date information about crashes, road conditions and travel times.

    * Block Club | The Fields Film Studio Gets $5 Million From City As It Nears Opening: The Fields Studios is a $250 million project that will bring nine sound stages, creative and production offices and more retail to the 21-acre Fields campus at Diversey Avenue and Pulaski Road. The $5 million grant will help complete the interior buildout of the studio’s production support space, city officials said in a press release.

    * Crain’s | JPMorgan commits to Loop with Chase Tower renovation: Developers eyeing plans for new office towers have tried to lure JPMorgan out of Chase Tower for years, some even floating the idea of buying the building from the bank as part of a larger deal to anchor a new skyscraper elsewhere. Such a move to the West Loop or Fulton Market District would have dealt an enormous blow to the Loop by adding to the massive blocks of empty workspace that plague it today. It also would have aligned with the pandemic-fueled trend of companies flocking to the newest and most updated offices they can find to encourage employees to show up more regularly.

    * Sun-Times | How long do you need to save to buy a home in Chicago? 4 years, experts say: Shane Lee, a data scientist at Realty Hop, said the analysis the real estate company conducted last year determined it would take more than five years to save for a down payment, meaning the timeline has shortened. “Because of the interest rates, the median list price for typical homes adjusted itself, and also the household income in 2023 was lower,” Lee said. “In some ways, inflation has helped families with a higher income — granted, things are also more expensive in general.”

    * AP | U.S. sues to block merger of grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons, saying it could push prices higher: The FTC filed an administrative complaint against the companies Monday, which will be considered by an administrative law judge at the agency. It also filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in Oregon requesting a temporary injunction blocking the merger. That lawsuit was joined by the attorneys general of eight states and the District of Columbia.

    * Tribune | 75 on Tuesday, an ice-free lake, little snow: Climate change blunts winter in Chicago: According to Trent Ford, the state climatologist, all four seasons have seen warmer temperatures because of human-driven climate change, but winter temperatures have increased at a much faster rate than all other seasons. “Winter warming is probably the most substantial trend that we can see over the last 100 years as far as how our climate has changed, and is also strongly tied to sort of the global warming forcing,” Ford said.

    * SJ-R | Unsettling weather, wild swings in temperatures on tap for central Illinois: Scattered thunderstorms developing in the central Illinois area Tuesday could bring large hail and damaging wind gusts, according to a forecast from the National Weather Service in Lincoln. A “hazardous weather outlook” posted by the NWS Monday morning detailed that “a tornado can’t be ruled out” for Tuesday.

    * Bloomberg | Elon Musk’s Vegas Tunnel Project Has Been Racking Up Safety Violations: The muck pooling in the tunnel at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip had the consistency of a milkshake and, in some places, sat at least two feet deep. The tunnel-to-be, which would eventually stretch about half a mile, was part of a system intended to connect two hotels, the Encore Las Vegas and the Westgate, with the enormous Las Vegas Convention Center. Workers doing the digging later said they had to wade through the mud every day. It splashed up over their boots, hit their arms and faces and soaked through their clothes. At first, it merely felt damp. But in addition to the water, sand and silt—the natural byproducts of any dig—the workers understood that it was full of chemicals known as accelerants.

    * Tribune | Shohei Ohtani set to make his Dodgers’ Cactus League debut at DH vs. White Sox on Tuesday: Ohtani will likely only take two at-bats in the game. But it will come just over five months after he underwent elbow surgery. That surgery was his second reconstructive procedure and will prevent him from pitching until 2025.

    * Crain’s | Metra back online after system outage causes halts on multiple lines: The issue, which started at about 10:50 this morning, occurred because of an outage that meant “dispatchers couldn’t access a database that they use to load information about trains,” said Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile. The PTC database includes all the information about the particular train it monitors, allowing personnel to check for overspeed incidents and related issues, Reile said.


  1. - TJ - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:48 pm:

    Okay, now we’re really off in the deep end if anyone remotely expects a random soccer team, men’s or women’s, to get public funding if infinitely more popular football and baseball teams have insanely uphill battles destined to fail.

  2. - TJ - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:49 pm:

    Oh, and as for favorite Illinois-made products, I’m all about lava lamps.

  3. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:53 pm:

    ===a random soccer team===

    It’s not random.

    What appears to be happening here is a push by several teams to try to put a big deal together, or at least not be left behind. But the Christmas tree dream is prolly more like a tiny cactus.

  4. - ArchPundit - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:57 pm:

    ==Okay, now we’re really off in the deep end if anyone remotely expects a random soccer team, men’s or women’s,

    The scale is so different that it’s not comparable. The Sox and Bears are looking at potentially billion dollar stadiums, the women’s stadium would be under $150 million most likely and the public end even less and has potential use as a municipal stadium for playoffs. I’m not a big fan of publicly funded stadiums, but I’m a lot more open to a small league startup on a much smaller scale than a billion dollars for billionaires.

  5. - PPP - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:58 pm:

    What wrong with the Bridgeview stadium for the Red Stars?

  6. - JoanP - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 2:59 pm:

    = Count us in, too. =

    How about you all pay for your own stadiums?

  7. - Roadrager - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 3:03 pm:

    Here’s to Reinsdorf, McCaskey, and Ricketts all elbowing each other for a prime feeding spot at an empty trough.

  8. - TJ - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 3:03 pm:

    ==It’s not random.==

    Respectfully disagree, at least for all intents and purposes. The MLS Fire are barely an afterthought in Illinois in general and in Chicago in particular, and the Red Stars are an even smaller draw than the Fire.

    Poll random Illinoisans, and I’d bet you borderline anything that the vast majority couldn’t name a single Red Star player, and I’d bet likewise you almost everything that a solid majority couldn’t even name the team’s name. There’s going to be zero drive or push for anybody to support public money for a Red Stars stadium.

    ==What appears to be happening here is a push by several teams to try to put a big deal together, or at least not be left behind. But the Christmas tree dream is prolly more like a tiny cactus.==

    Yeah, very much so, but it seems like a load of fools chasing after a pot of gold that’s already long-since been claimed and depleted. Nobody is forking over state money on a stadium for anybody for the foreseeable future, and I’m not sure if many counties are interested in spending local funds either.

  9. - RNUG - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 3:09 pm:

    Favorite Illinois product … got to go with Country Bob’s Steak Sauce … made it Centralia.

    FWIW …they have a number of sauces and a couple of seasonings in their product line.

  10. - Jerry - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 3:19 pm:

    Tell Laurie the team can play in Ricketts park at Clark and Addison if they want. Brother Tommy will rent it out to you.

  11. - Amalia - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 3:34 pm:

    WBEZ answers to State’s Attorney candidates interesting. Race heating up with commercials. O’Neill Burke’s hit on Harris and his anti choice donation record newest.

  12. - Sue - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 4:02 pm:

    I don’t usually agree much with JB- but he is spot on slamming the door on any WSox$$. State isn’t in the best fiscal condition- there are lots better alternatives to spend the State’s limited resources on then building a new Sox dtadium

  13. - Reality Check - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 4:09 pm:

    Embarrassing example of straight-up racism from these orgs criticizing Cunningham for not being Latino enough for them. She’s Panamanian American but apparently to these self-appointed guardians you can’t be Latino if you look Black. Disgusting.

  14. - Blue Dog - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 4:13 pm:

    favorite product. good old southern Illinois coal. huge overseas demand and great for our roads.

  15. - Stix Hix - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 4:32 pm:

    I’m fearful of a Kroger/Albertsons merger. We would probably loose our B-N Jewel stores, where you can get some Chicago goodies.

  16. - Give Us Barabbas - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 4:49 pm:

    My favorite Illinois product is Riley’s spice blend: it is God’s gift to grilled chicken wings and pork, also jazzed up my Friday night Tilapia and rice.

    Also a shout out to the frozen deep dish pizzas made here and sent nationwide.

  17. - DuPage - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 5:17 pm:

    @- Blue Dog - Monday, Feb 26, 24 @ 4:13 pm:

    ===favorite product. good old southern Illinois coal. huge overseas demand and great for our roads.===

    Illinois coal companies might need to downsize and concentrate on selling it for road building. Overall projected demand for coal is predicted to go way down.

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