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Isabel’s morning briefing

Friday, Mar 1, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Chicago migrants’ grievances focus mostly on treatment by shelter staff. Sun-Times

    - 248 grievances were lodged by migrants staying in more than two dozen city-run shelters between June 2023 and January.
    - Complaints ranged from racist remarks to bad food and a lack of cleanliness.
    - The majority of the grievances, about 60%, involve staff members from Favorite Healthcare Staffing, a Kansas-based company hired by the city to run its shelters. About 18% of grievances involve facilities and 15% relate to other residents.

* Related stories…

* Isabel’s top picks…

    * WAND | Illinois DCFS leaders, advocates share recent growth, potential solutions for foster system: Agency officials said they are committed to reducing the amount of time children stay in the state’s care and increasing equity in recruitment of foster families. Acting DCFS Director Heidi Mueller said the department is considering the cultural background of every child before deciding where they end up.

    * Tribune | Gov. J.B. Pritzker is backing abortion rights ballot measures across nation, but little on the horizon in Illinois: Back home, though, a state constitutional amendment on abortion rights doesn’t appear to be on this election year’s agenda for the Democratic-controlled Illinois legislature — even though Pritzker last year declared in his second inaugural address that “the right to privacy and bodily autonomy demand that we establish a constitutional protection for reproductive rights in Illinois.”

    * Crain’s | Job cuts, fleeing investors: How anti-DEI lawsuits take a toll on targets: The August lawsuit, filed by conservative activist group America First Legal, took issue with a grant program that Hello Alice co-runs for Black-owned small businesses. Only offering the money to Black entrepreneurs was, the suit claimed, discriminatory. The impact of the suit was immediate. Houston-based Hello Alice, which also offers credit and loans, shared the news of the case with potential investors as part of its due diligence process, and two-thirds of the capital was pulled out. It’s spent six figures on fees for three law firms so far, and is budgeting “multiple seven figures” if the case continues.

* Politico

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has piled up a stunning $15.3 million in campaign cash, according to the fundraising report for the last quarter of 2023.

The IL-08 Democrat has (again) surpassed his Democratic colleagues in Illinois, and he’s in an elite group of top fundraisers for House Democrats in Congress, having contributed more than $5.4 million this cycle to House Democrats.

Only Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, with $17 million cash on hand, has outraised Krishnamoorthi. It’s the kind of fundraising that fuels talk that Krishnamoorthi will one day run for U.S. Senate.

The rest of Illinois Dems: Jonathan Jackson (IL-01): $20,761, Robin Kelly (IL-02): $1.6 million, Delia Ramirez (IL-03): $363,708, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04): $202,798, Mike Quigley (IL-05): $1.1 million, Sean Casten (IL-06): $1.1 million, Danny Davis (IL-07): $819,978, Jan Schakowsky (IL-09): $826,686, Brad Schneider (IL-10): $1.1 million, Bill Foster (IL-11): 1.7 million, Nikki Budzinski (IL-13): $1.4 million, Lauren Underwood (IL-14): $1.6 million and Eric Sorensen (IL-17): $1.6 million.

* Here’s the rest of your briefing…

    * South Side Weekly | Board of Elections Warehouse Workers Allege Poor Treatment: In interviews with the Weekly, workers described working long hours in a moldy, dusty warehouse where they say CBOE-employed supervisors harassed and berated them with impunity, made last-minute schedule changes to prevent them from accruing overtime, and made them feel they had to accept these conditions or risk being fired and replaced.

    * WCIA | Schweizer replaces Marron, prepares for start of political career: “What I’m really trying to focus on is one, you know, understanding the needs of the individuals in my district,” Schweizer said. “And you know, after that, trying to voice those needs here, when I get to when we get to Springfield, and trying to make a difference in the area that I live in to make it safer for families to live, and bringing jobs to the community so it’s just a better place that people want to move to and want to live in.”

    * South Side Weekly | In Democratic Primaries, No Business as Usual: Sigcho-Lopez pointed to the campaign in Michigan and said he will similarly abstain from participating in the Democratic primary here, citing the urgency of the moment.

    * Daily-Journal | Joyce, Earling spar 40th issues: While the district remains the same, the candidates for the Democratic Party nomination are vastly different and taking front and center is a clear difference between the benefits of a China-based company, Gotion, setting up a massive electric vehicle battery plant in northern Kankakee County. Earling, 48, a 19-year resident of the Will County community of Braidwood, is opposed to massive state grants and tax breaks being given to a company coming from a communist country. It is unclear whether Gotion has any ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

    * Daily-Journal | Jobs, migrants dominate 79th forum: Three of the four candidates were on hand. Limestone Township resident Dylan Mill, on the primary ballot, was not in attendance Tuesday at the Kankakee Public Library where the debate, hosted by the Kankakee County Branch of the NAACP, was attended by more than 60 residents. The winner of the March 19 primary will then face Republican State Rep. Jackie Haas, a two-term rep from Bourbonnais, in the Nov. 5 general election.

    * ABC Chicago | Illinois touts improvements in making marijuana industry equitable, but critics say more needed: “When cannabis was illegal, 80% of arrests were Black and brown people,” said Matthew Brewer, owner of Grasshopper Club. “My brother was one of the people in the 80% arrested for cannabis possession.”His brother’s arrest was one of the reasons Brewer wanted to get into the marijuana industry. He is now celebrating his first year as the proud owner of Grasshopper Club, the first independent Black-owned dispensary in Chicago.

    * Sun-Times | Chicago’s former top lawyer faces complaint for role in doomed plan to open pot shop at old Rainforest Cafe: Robert Brown pushed back on the plan for more than a year, organizing neighbors and filing a lawsuit that sought to reverse a decision by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals granting approval to open the store at 605 N. Clark St. Brown has now submitted a complaint to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission alleging that former Corporation Counsel Mara Georges sent an improper letter to zoning board chairman Brian Sanchez while working for the companies that sought to open the dispensary.

    * Sun-Times | This Chicago-based Catholic order is keeping secrets about child-molesting clergy around the United States: The Order of Friar Servants of Mary, commonly known as the Servites, has its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, but it maintains no public list of credibly accused members despite calls for transparency. One church watchdog group counts 11 Servites accused of child sex abuse over the years, and the order has been accused of covering up for some offenders.

    * Tribune | Donald Trump’s lawyers seek reversal of ruling that dropped former president from Illinois GOP primary ballot: Trump’s attorneys had argued that states do not have the power to act on the “insurrection clause” without authorization from Congress, that the 14th Amendment’s section on insurrection does not apply to the office of president, and that the former president’s actions on the day of the Capitol riot did not amount to insurrection. Porter rejected those arguments.

    * Crain’s | Chicago area named best spot for corporate investment for 11th year in a row: According to a 2023 year-in-review report from WBC, last year 163 “pro-Chicagoland decisions” created more than 23,000 job opportunities. The decisions consisted of 117 expansions and 46 relocations or “new market entries” and generated more than $1.87 billion in earnings, the city’s economic development arm said.

    * NBC Chicago | Statewide tornado drill slated for Illinois next week. Here’s what to know: The annual test warning will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and many commercial radio and television stations, with a tone alarm beginning at 11 a.m. “Residents should treat the drill as if it were an actual Tornado Warning,” the NWS reported. “The purpose of the drill is to test everyone’s readiness for life-threatening severe weather events such as tornadoes, flash floods, and damaging winds. The National Weather Service will issue a Routine Weekly Test (RWT) to NOAA Weather Radios to initiate the drill.”

    * AP | Philadelphia Phillies are scrapping $1 hot dog nights following unruly fan behavior:
    Armed with projectile frankfurters, some unruly Phillies fans began chucking their favorite Hatfield meat during a game last year, and the dogs soared like cans of corn throughout the stands and onto the field. The demand for the discount dogs also led to clogged lanes — if not arteries — on the concourse, and the cramped spaces led to security and safety concerns.

    * Tribune | In memoriam: Reasons to love Richard Lewis, and why he loved Chicago: But I was also thrown back in memory to a March night in 1984 at Zanies, the Old Town comedy club, where he made his first Chicago appearance. Also in the audience was my former Tribune colleague and friend Howard Reich, who told me on Thursday, “I last communicated with Richard just a couple of days ago, so his death is as much a shock to me as to the millions who similarly revered him.” […] As Reich remembers, “The first time I reviewed him was that March 1984 night at Zanies. I was overwhelmed by his verbal brilliance and by his sheer profusion of comic scenarios. I’d never witnessed such an avalanche of humor so virtuosically delivered.”

    * Ohio Capital Journal | Former Ohio Speaker Householder files appeal, says bribe payment was within First Amendment rights: In the 105-page document filed Monday evening in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Householder’s attorneys said the man prosecutors likened to a “mob boss” in the House Bill 6 scheme was “scapegoated” by the federal government.

    * Tribune | Brookfield Zoo Chicago announces $66 million Tropical Forests for primates as part of major redesign: “It’s really a flip from where zoos were at 100 years ago, when it was all visitor-centric,” says Mike Adkesson, the former vice president of veterinary care at the zoo and now its president and CEO. “You had these big, expansive, central galleries that looked into small diagrams where the animals were displayed. As zoos have evolved over the last century, we’ve moved away from that entirely.”

    * AP | Some doorbell cameras sold by retailers like Amazon have major security flaws, report says: Researchers said the doorbell cameras made by Eken Group can be controlled by a company-operated app called Aiwit. They said bad actors can create an account on the app and gain access to a nearby doorbell camera by pairing it with another device. That gives them the ability to view footage — or access still images — and lock out the owner from the device, Consumer Reports said.


  1. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 8:27 am:

    $15M? So is Raja running for governor or senator next?

  2. - H-W - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 8:36 am:

    I cannot read the article Isabel highlighted from Crains. But I can say this. The anti-diversity and anti-equity and anti-inclusion organizations are very active not just in the business sector, but throughout government. They are very actively seeking to eliminate diversity initiatives and equity initiatives in higher ed as well as business.

    This effort is in my mind, unAmerican and evil. It represents efforts to use institutional means to marginalize the poor, ethnic minorities, immigrants, women, LGBTQ people.

    In that context alone, these efforts are white nationalist in their intent. They represent, in my mind, the epitome of white privilege such that white people are using political power to prevent the less privileged and the unprivileged from achieving success. While we do not like to use words such as white nationalism, misogyny, racism, etc., one only need to read the public writings of these organizations to see that ideologies made explicit.

    If we are to achieve our greatest potential as a state and as a nation, we the people need to stand up against these manifestations of exclusionary practices. We must elect leaders who are willing to create new legislation that empowers the powerless.


  3. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 8:45 am:

    “While we do not like to use words such as white nationalism, misogyny, racism”

    I’m fine using those words. I think most people are. Journalists are another story though. Mass media is fully invested in both-sidesing our politics no matter how absurd that becomes. It’s already been absurd for years.

  4. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 9:07 am:

    ==exclusionary practices.==

    It’s by definition exclusionary to only allow certain groups of individuals to apply.

    I dislike America First Legal about as much as you can dislike something. I think they have sinister motives to all of the actions they take. But I also dislike targeted programs as well. I think they are inherently wrong.

    And I also hate this term and it’s actually offensive to me because I’m sick to death of all of the DEI training I have taken that tries to tell me that somehow I’ve had it better in life because I’m white. I’ve worked hard and to suggest that hard work was aided by my whiteness is asinine. I didn’t have a problem with DEI when it first started to gain steam but I can tell you that I’ve grown tired of it. The more it’s shoved down my throat the more I hate it. And I’m not alone, at least where I work. DEI programs don’t do what they are designed to do when the programs themselves are turning people anti-DEI. They need to find a different way of approaching the subject than they are now because it isn’t working.

  5. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 9:09 am:

    And I also hate the term white privilege is what I meant to say . . .

  6. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 9:12 am:

    ==Complaints ranged from racist remarks==

    If you dislike the migrants why would you work with them? Are you only working in the shelters so you make sure they are treated poorly? I can see that being true in some cases.

  7. - PublicServant - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 9:13 am:

    It’s more than just attacking DEI initiatives and saying the quiet part out loud, Heritage Foundation has published their manifesto for purging “The Deep State”, which isn’t a dismantlement as much as repopulating the deep state with an “Army of conservative activists” whose only qualifications are fealty to the Kraken.

  8. - The Truth - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 9:43 am:

    hisgirlfriday: you might as well start calling him Senator Raja

  9. - Suburban Mom - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 9:52 am:

    === that somehow I’ve had it better in life because I’m white. ===

    So you think racism is bad, but you don’t think your life has been in any way better or more pleasant because you haven’t had to face racism? That doesn’t make any sense.

  10. - Leap Day William - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 10:05 am:

    == that somehow I’ve had it better in life because I’m white. ==

    This makes no sense. Just because you had struggles doesn’t mean there weren’t institutional/systemic/cultural barriers you didn’t have to face on top of those struggles.

    Being white doesn’t inherently mean you are playing “The Game of Life” on easy mode, but whiteness does impart certain codes in that game which clear a good number of obstacles off the board.

  11. - Pundent - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 10:14 am:

    =So you think racism is bad, but you don’t think your life has been in any way better or more pleasant because you haven’t had to face racism?=

    Perhaps the distinction is that racism is a behavior, not a trait. DEI doesn’t necessarily make that distinction. Maybe it should.

  12. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 10:15 am:

    ==but you don’t think your life has been in any way better or more pleasant==

    I don’t subscribe to the belief that I have not had to work as hard to achieve what I have achieved simply because I’m white. But I respect other people’s opinions even though I may disagree with them.

  13. - Big Dipper - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 10:57 am:

    It’s so Chicago that someone who is part of the ARDC is being investigated by the ARDC.

  14. - H-W - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 1:38 pm:

    Dear Demoralized

    No need to be demoralized. I never said or suggested anything about you. I do not know you. You can work as hard as you like or not. I cannot and will not judge you as better or worse or equal to entire categories of others. You are you. You are free to be you.

    Indeed, this is not about you at all, so please do not take it personal whenever you hear that relative deprivation exists and is socially created. It actually does exist at the aggregate level. The ideas of white privilege and white advantage are not measures for judging the content of the character of individuals. To suggest that would be a false, since they involve a different level of analysis (e.g., group v. individual).

    That said, aggregate differences in access to socially important resources do exist in Illinois and elsewhere in the U.S. and the world. Words like privilege and disadvantage are used in the context of groups, and differential rates of group access to socially valuable resources, like quality education, housing stock, health care, good jobs, higher education, etc. And in Illinois, there really are relative advantages and disadvantages at the aggregate level, depending on where you are born, where you live, and which social categories to which people belong. To suggest otherwise is just not true.

    People of color, women, and LGBTQ people receive differential treatment in our Illinois communities and at the societal level. Just because some choose not to see that, does not mean that race does not overlap with opportunity structures in our communities and society. Claiming colorblindness or suggesting we become blind to color does not erase social categories and their histories of differntial access, nor the long term effects of that differential access.

    Social minorities by definition are excluded by exclusionary processes and practices from opportunities are a rate greater than are people who do not belong to these categories. As others have noted, there are privileges associated with belonging to the category labeled “white.” These privileges are not about gifts and they are not measured or defined at the individual level. Lots of white people struggle. But more people of color struggle. More women relative to men also struggle due to exclusionary practices and processes. And LGBTQ people? It is still perfectly legal to exclude these folks intentionally. Relative absences of disadvantages and negative experiences across groups are real, and measurable.

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