The Rundown: Illinois Seeks More Federal Abortion Funds
Good afternoon! It’s Tuesday, and it’s hard not to be blown away by the new photos released today by the James Webb Space Telescope, giving us a deeper look at space and time. Really puts into perspective the neighbor across the street who cranked up the volume on a podcast. Here’s what else you need to know.
Testifying before a US Senate committee today, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton said the state needs more federal support to handle an influx of patients coming to Illinois for abortions. . And more legal protections should be given to doctors and abortion providers.
“Before the Roe v. Wade threats were fully realized, Illinois was proactive, championing bodily autonomy and protecting abortion rights,” Stratton said. “And yet the reversal of Roe v. Wade sent us down a dark and agonizing path.”
Stratton’s testimony comes as Governor JB Pritzker and his fellow Democrats try to find ways to further protect reproductive rights in Illinois.
A major concern is whether the state’s abortion providers can handle a surge in patient numbers. Planned Parenthood of Illinois estimates the state could see up to 30,000 additional patients each year now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe.
Pritzker has called for a special session of the state legislature to address those issues, but no date has yet been set. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Pandemic-induced burnout and a robust labor market have pushed some teachers to change careers, with 55% saying in a national survey they were considering leaving the profession, reports the Chicago Grandstand.
And the next school year is on the horizon, causing some educators to worry about whether there will be enough teachers when about 1.8 million Illinois students return to class.
“What will a school do if it has 50 registered kindergartens for two classes, but only one teacher? Do you combine lessons? said Nancy Latham, associate dean of the College of Education and executive director of the Council on Teacher Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
A recent report from the Illinois State Board of Education showed that there were approximately 5,300 vacancies in schools across the state, the Tribe reports.
But, in what could be a hopeful sign, recent data from the Illinois state teachers’ retirement system showed only a slight increase from 2019. [Chicago Tribune]
The House Select Committee investigating the insurgency today focused on how a tweet by former President Donald Trump rallied far-right extremists and sparked violent rhetoric and planning .
Among the most pivotal moments was a late night meeting on December 18, 2020 in the Oval Office that included discussion of an executive order ordering the military to seize election machinery. The meeting ended with Trump posting a tweet calling on his supporters to rally in Washington.
“Be there, it will be wild,” Trump wrote.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., a member of the Jan. 6 panel, said, “This tweet served as a call to action — and in some cases a call to arms.”
“In vulgar and often racist language, posts on far-right forums anticipated the big day they said Trump was asking Washington for,” the Associated Press reports.
A pro-Trump influencer said it would be a ‘red wedding’, a reference to a massacre that took place in game of thrones. And another said, “Bring handcuffs. [AP]
City health officials announced this week that there have been at least 105 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Chicago since early June, WTTW reports.
Monkeypox does not spread as easily as COVID-19 and primarily requires intimate contact with an infected person. Dr Allison Arwady, the city’s top public health official, said the spread of the virus, so far, appears to be through “close-knit social networks”.
But the majority of cases have been reported in gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men, city health officials said. In response, several health care providers are offering vaccines to people at high risk of exposure. [WTTW]
The good news is that we know a lot about monkeypox and we have vaccines and treatments. And the virus is rarely fatal and usually does not lead to hospitalization.
But the recent outbreak, with more than 750 cases in the United States, highlights many of the logistical challenges we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic: not enough tests and vaccines available, and an incomplete picture of the spread. [NPR]
City Hall this week announced details of a major giveaway of bicycles as part of an initiative to promote “sustainable modes of transportation” and “improve mobility for residents.”
To be eligible, applicants cannot already own a bicycle and must be over 14 years of age. There are also income limits: above $73,000 for an individual, $104,200 for a family of four and $120,900 for a household of six.
Applications will be accepted from July 18 to August 4. The Lightfoot administration hopes to donate 5,000 bikes over a four-year period, assuming Mayor Lori Lightfoot wins next year’s election.
The bike giveaway comes at a time when a series of high-profile and fatal traffic accidents have raised questions about the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.
In response, the city announced that it would upgrade bike lanes protected with concrete barriers by the end of 2023. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Here’s what else is going on
- Two rating agencies wonder if Bally’s can build the Chicago casino in time. [Crain’s Chicago Business]
- More than 3,000 Chicagoans have started receiving their first $500 monthly payments from the city’s Guaranteed Basic Income program. [WBEZ]
- Pritzker brought in a downstate pediatrician to oversee the Illinois Department of Public Health. [WBEZ]
- I really, really hope Chicago does this and we get better “I voted” sticker submissions. [Washington Post]
Oh, and one more thing…
Here’s something I didn’t know until today: Chicago has hosted an unprecedented 24 national political conventions, more than any other city in America.
And some of those conventions, like the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention, would change the course of American history.
Urban historian and WBEZ contributor Shermann “Dilla” Thomas unearths the history of political convention in Chicago in this great conversation with WBEZ’s Cianna Greaves. [WBEZ]
Tell me something good…
What was an act of kindness that really lifted your spirits?
“I work in an upscale cocktail bar. Working with people can be very difficult at times, especially since COVID, as supply chain and personnel challenges are still very real.
“The night was long and difficult. When I approached a table with a cute young couple and their two boxes from the Bang Bang Pie Shop, I braced myself for the angry confrontation that would likely take place after I told them they couldn’t. not eat their desserts outside in our bar.
“But they weren’t for them, they were for us! The staff! These adorable humans brought us two whole pies! They even marked each one with allergens! I literally started crying. And this pie was absolutely delicious. Thanks again, friends.
And Cecilia writes:
“I LOVE board games, but my husband doesn’t. That’s his only fault. A few times a year when I’m feeling down or it’s been raining for three weeks, he takes me to one of the cafes board games in town and he plays with me all day.He also feeds the cats because I hate the smell of their food.
Feel free to email or tweet me, and your response might be shared in this week’s newsletter.