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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Monday, Jul 8, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Payday lenders offer short-term, small-dollar, and high-interest consumer loans. Consumers get payday loans primarily from state-licensed storefront locations—of which there were an estimated 13,700 nationwide in 2018—where loans have a median amount of $350 and typical fees equate to an average annual percentage rate (APR) of almost 400%. Unlike traditional financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, there is no centralized national database on the location of payday lender storefronts.

This article uses data that provide the zip codes of licensed storefront payday lenders in Illinois beginning in 2006 and ending in 2021 after which, under the Predatory Loan Prevention Act, there were no longer any licensed payday lenders in the state. This data set allows us to document the locations of payday lender storefronts in Illinois during a period of consolidation in the payday lending industry, bookended by two major economic disruptions: the subprime mortgage crisis and Great Recession that ensued and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Because few states keep historical records of licensed payday lenders and their locations, these Illinois licensure data offer a rare glimpse at where payday lenders locate their storefronts. In particular, we find the following key facts about Illinois payday lenders:

    -Over two-thirds of lenders located their storefronts in clusters—zip codes with two or more storefronts—with the largest clusters in high-population zip codes.

    - Payday lenders were substantially more likely to locate and cluster their storefronts in zip codes with a relatively high fraction of residents in poverty.

    - Payday lenders were substantially more likely to locate and cluster their storefronts in zip codes with a relatively high fraction of the residents reporting their race and ethnicity as other than non-Hispanic White to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    - Payday storefronts followed similar location patterns in Chicago as they did across all of Illinois.

* After Indiana, Pritzker will keynote the Ohio Democrats’ Annual Family Reunion with Sen. Cory Brooker….


Planned Parenthood Great Rivers (PPGR) announced the expansion of availability for medication abortion, now available to patients up to 12 weeks pregnant.

The expansion, up from the previous 11 weeks of pregnancy, will allow more patients to access abortion services when they need it, via telehealth and in-person clinic visits. […]

Patients up to ten weeks pregnant who have an Illinois mailing address may also order medication abortion via the PPDirect mobile app from the privacy of their home without needing to schedule a clinic visit.

* Last week from the Daily Herald

Environmental and conservation groups celebrated this week following Illinois’ “historic” signing of an agreement to begin construction of a project designed to keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes.

With the leading edge of Asian carp thought to be 10 miles downriver of the Brandon Road Lock, the last line of defense between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan is a barrier at Romeoville.

Gov. J.B. Priztker signed the agreement alongside the state of Michigan and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The $1.14 billion project will be funded by the federal, Illinois and Michigan governments, with the federal government taking on 90% of the cost.

Advocates, some of whom have been pushing for the project since the early 2000s, said the signing will help protect the region’s fishery, economy and quality of life.

*** Statehouse News ***

* The Real Deal | Behind the evolution of rent control’s politics: [Sen. Natalie Toro’s] bill wasn’t seen as a threat by real estate lobbyists, they said, and she didn’t put up much of a fight. She introduced an older version of legislation crafted by Chicago’s Lift the Ban Coalition – which is pushing for a new bill in the House – suggesting a lack of coordination with the group. Toro’s bill died after she didn’t call it in time to meet a legislative deadline. “I don’t know to what degree (Toro) believes in the issue, but I think she introduced the bill because she believed the politics were good,” said state Rep. Will Guzzardi, who has introduced a series of bills to lift the ban since 2017. “And that just goes to show you how far this issue has come.”

* WAND | New Illinois law extends deadline for Underground Railroad Task Force: The task force was previously required to submit a report with recommendations to the governor and General Assembly by July 1. However, the new law extends that deadline until the end of this year. “This task force will bring a better understanding of how the Underground Railroad operated, as slaves escaped the south for freedom and a better life in Illinois,” said Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria). “By giving Illinoisans a clear understanding of the past, we are creating a greater future.”

*** Statewide ***

* WMBD | Hurricane Beryl’s remnants to impact Illinois Tuesday into Wednesday: The center of Beryl is forecast to track into southern Illinois by Tuesday evening, then eventually head northeast into central Indiana by early Wednesday. Such a path will place central Illinois and Peoria on the northwest fringes of this system. Note the “cone of uncertainty” still expands roughly 100 miles north and south of the projected path. This means the exact track is not etched in stone. Locally, this is a scenario where just 50-75 miles could mean the difference from staying dry to a sizeable rain event.

* Press Release | Illinois State Fair Museum looking for nominees for Illinoisan of the Day honors at this year’s fair: The Illinois State Fair Museum Foundation is seeking 10 individuals to spotlight each day of the Illinois State Fair as an Illinoisan of the Day. The Illinoisan of the Day program looks to honor individuals who exemplify the qualities and characteristics associated with Illinois- integrity, dependability, sense of community and strong ethics.

*** Chicago ***

* Crain’s | Johnson spikes threat to his control over City Council meetings: After contentious debate, a last-minute opposition effort from Mayor Brandon Johnson defeated a measure that would have empowered the City Council with an extra layer of legislative independence from the Fifth Floor. The bevy of weekend phone calls from Johnson’s legislative affairs staff helped prevent the City Council Rules Committee from advancing a resolution today allowing City Council attorneys to provide legislative counsel on the floor of the chamber during parliamentary fights that often devolve into arcane battles over the body’s own rules.

* Tribune | In high-profile Jayden Perkins murder case, defendant takes unusual step of defending himself against experienced prosecutors: The case against Crosetti Brand is striking on its own: A man with a documented history of abusing multiple women is accused of barging into an Edgewater apartment just a day after being released from prison, attacking his ex-girlfriend and killing Jayden when the boy tried to help his mother. But procedurally, the matter stands out even more as it unfolds at the busy Leighton Criminal Court Building. Brand is serving as his own attorney, arguing the case without the expertise of a licensed lawyer, and he has demanded a speedy trial — meaning the case is proceeding toward trial at a pace nearly unheard of in a building where murder cases can linger for years or even a decade.

* Sun-Times | Most murders of transgender women in Chicago go unsolved: ‘I can’t let go without answers’: Most law enforcement agencies do not track transgender homicides, but researchers have recorded over 300 transgender people murdered nationwide between 2010 and 2021. The national clearance rate was just over 50%, but police in Chicago cleared only 14%, they found. […] The Sun-Times used interviews, news clips and information from LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations to identify at least 14 trans and gender-non-conforming people killed in Chicago since 2016. They were all Black or Latinx and were all killed in neighborhoods on the South and West sides. In all but one case, the victims were trans women.

* WBEZ | Chicago Teachers Union criticizes CPS leadership over state of contract negotiations: While the teachers union is only escalating through words so far, not actions, they aren’t ruling out more significant steps — even a potential strike vote if they don’t see progress in bargaining by the end of the summer, CTU Vice President Jackson Potter said. “Hopefully, we won’t face that,” Potter said in an interview Thursday. […] The CTU contract expired June 30, but contract negotiations typically last past expiration through the summer and into the fall.

* Tribune | A migrant family felt ‘blessed’ to be picked for a state rental program. They were given units that seemed unlivable — with a difficult choice.: The state did document some problems with landlords. Records show migrants turned apartments down several times because of “unsafe living conditions.” A few caught fire. One tenant and landlord got into a verbal altercation and then the landlord refused to turn over the keys. Another tenant was shown a second-floor apartment but given keys to the basement and told that the “upstairs unit is for Americans.” The state eventually demanded dozens of landlords pay back more than $620,000 — about $175,000 of which was repaid as of late June, according to the most recently available state data.

* Block Club | South Siders Mourn The Loss Of Huge Music Festivals: ‘Man, What Else Do We Have?’: Two South Side festivals which drew thousands of people in support of world-renowned musicians, Chicago artists on the come-up and local small businesses have shut down in consecutive years. Hyde Park Summer Fest called it quits this year after a nine-year run, as first reported by the Hyde Park Herald in May. The Silver Room Block Party, which for its last years was at Oakwood Beach, came to a close last year.

* Center Square | Black households in Chicago lag behind others, without liquid assets: Illinois State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, says he could have easily predicted the findings of a new “Color of Wealth” survey that highlights the typical Black Chicago household has fewer liquid assets and less to fall back on than any other racial or ethnic group. In addition to finding that Black households have a median net worth of zero compared to $210,000 for white families, researchers from the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy also found that black residents are far less likely to own stock, individual retirement accounts and homes compared to white, Mexicans and Puerto Rican families.

* Crain’s | Cut traffic, connect to the lake to reboot Mag Mile: study: At the heart of its recommendation is a concept that is simple, yet difficult to achieve: Making Michigan Avenue a place to linger, with space that favors pedestrians over cars. The days of Boul Mich as a shopping mecca that have defined it for decades need to be left behind, Gensler contends, noting the record-high 30% retail vacancy rate along the avenue. The share of vacant street-facing storefronts on the Mag Mile is even higher. Filling and repositioning those spaces should be more entertainment uses, art, experiential retail, food and beverage options and other hospitality-focused features that don’t require seven lanes of car traffic running through them, the firm says.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Tribune | Skokie police sergeant files lawsuit alleging gender discrimination: According to the lawsuit, filed June 21 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Russell seeks back pay for lost wages and benefits, a promotion to commander, front pay if appropriate and compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages against Police Chief Jesse Barnes, former Police Chief Brian Baker, and Commander Timothy Gramins, among other demands. Per the lawsuit, Russell was passed over for a promotion to commander eight times since December 2017, despite receiving a higher assessment score than a male co-worker who was promoted to commander in 2022. According to a news release from the village, that male co-worker was later promoted to deputy police chief in January 2024.

*** Downstate ***

* STLPR | There’s a peachier outlook for most southern Illinois orchards this summer: “We’re really happy with where our peaches are at right now,” said Austin Flamm, who runs Flamm Orchards near Cobden about 100 miles southeast of St. Louis. Last year, a cold spell in the winter knocked out all but 10% of their crop. It was the worst loss in 16 seasons for the fruit and vegetable farming family. However, this year’s weather largely cooperated, and peach production at Flamm’s will stand at 100%. In fact, the crop was so plentiful Flamm and his team had to trim back some trees earlier this year.

* WICS | SIU medicine seeks participants for schizophrenia clinical trial study: The Journey 2 study is testing the effectiveness of a novel medication called valbenazine. […] The participants’ health and safety will be closely monitored throughout the study period. All study-related visits, tests and study drugs will be provided at no cost. Enrolled patients receive a stipend and may be reimbursed for travel.

* SJ-R | Popular downtown Springfield summer music festival not returning in 2024: The decision is due to “costs and logistics,” said Barry Friedman, who acquired the rights to run the downtown festival from Downtown Springfield, Inc. in 2016. It is held the last weekend of August. “We will regroup and examine the possibility of returning in 2025,” Friedman said.

*** National ***

* Bis Now | As Data Centers Go Nuclear To Meet AI Power Demand, Worries Grow About The Impact On Everyone Else: The owners of about a third of the U.S.’s nuclear power plants are in talks with tech companies about providing electricity to them directly, The Wall Street Journal reports. Nuclear plants would give well-funded data centers a 24/7 source of carbon-free energy and enable speedy addition of the centers, which are sprouting rapidly amid the global AI race, the WSJ states. Amazon Web Services is working with Constellation Energy, the largest owner of U.S. nuclear power plants, on a deal to get electricity from one of its plants on the East Coast, according to the WSJ.

* Politico | RNC committee approves dropping national limits on abortion from party platform: The platform, which will be finalized by a vote of the full convention body next week, represents a major change for the GOP — and one that anti-abortion advocates had spent months rallying against. The new language describing abortion as an issue to be decided by the states is in line with the position held by Trump. Still, anti-abortion leaders are lauding the inclusion of language pointing to 14th Amendment protections that conservatives have long argued protects life beginning at conception.


  1. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Jul 8, 24 @ 2:29 pm:

    Stacy Davis Gates and Jackson Potter are the probably some of the only people in the Mayor’s kitchen cabinet that he actually listens to. This criticism of Pedro Martinez from CTU is just kabuki theater.

  2. - TNR - Monday, Jul 8, 24 @ 3:19 pm:

    A couple of real gems from Jackson Potter in that CPS story.

    CTU takes a personal shot at Martinez and then justifies it by saying they’re raising concerns “in an animated and sharp way” now because they think it will help avoid an impasse in the future. Huh? That’s not the way interpersonal relations work, let alone high-stakes collective bargaining.

    Then he shoe-horns in a awkward and factually incorrect Cubs analogy:

    “Please don’t be like the Cubs and start playing in the ninth inning. It’s not going well for that team. It won’t go well for us.”

    Actually, the Cubs don’t start playing hard in the ninth. They’re one of the worst late inning teams in baseball. Tied for second
    In the NL in blown saves.

  3. - Shytown - Monday, Jul 8, 24 @ 3:26 pm:

    Ditto to the kabuki theater by CTU. Martinez would be wise to get out now and avoid being their faux fall guy.

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