Illinois GOP size up run against Pritzker

A man speaks in front of a podium.
Representative Rodney Davis speaks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol in July 2021. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Springfield is back in session this week debating congressional district maps, but it's never too early to start thinking about the gubernatorial election in 2022.

Why it matters: Democrat J.B. Pritzker is running for reelection with good poll numbers on his handling of COVID-19. That will make it harder for Republicans to push Illinois from blue to red.

America's culture wars come to Chicago

A man speaks on the podium while a woman stares at him.
John Catanzara, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, addresses attendees as Mayor Lori Lightfoot watches. Photo: John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Ever since Mayor Lightfoot announced late-August that all city workers had to be vaccinated by October 15th, there has been skepticism surrounding compliance. But today is the day and the skepticism was justified.

Why it matters: FOP President John Catanzara posted a video posted to Facebook encouraging officers not to comply.

  • If officers follow that guidance, we could see half of the entire police force not on the job this weekend.

Oral history on Illinois' most powerful politician launches

Politician at a podium.
Michael Madigan, former speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, speaks in 2015. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Justin interviewed several Illinois politicians and journalists to help tell the story of former Illinois speaker Michael Madigan, the longest serving state house speaker in U.S. history. The podcast comes out today in association with the Better Government Association.

  • It includes stories from four governors, lawmakers and former staffers inside the Madigan organization.
Monica Eng
Sep 27, 2021 - Politics

Chicago mayor's climate plan short on goals

The Chicago skyline covered in haze
Mayor Lori Lightfoot pledged $188 million for environmental programs in her recent budget address. These include programs to improve air quality in the city. Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Last week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot pledged to invest $188 million in the environment as part of her 2022 budget proposal.

  • She called it "the largest one-time investment in climate mitigation, adaptation, and environmental justice priorities in the city's history."

Yes, but: When Axios asked her for specific climate action goals with deadlines, neither she nor her staff could produce them.

Monica Eng
Sep 24, 2021 - Politics

Evan Osnos tackles Chicago's role in a divided America at city festival

A book cover of Wildland: The Making of America's Fury
Evan Osnos will discuss his new book "Wildland: The Making of America's Fury," this Saturday at Columbia College for the Chicago Humanities Festival. Book jacket: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

New Yorker writer Evan Osnos cut his journalistic teeth at the Chicago Tribune two decades ago.

  • His new book "Wildland: The Making of America's Fury," uses that knowledge to spotlight trends in Chicago (along with Greenwich, Connecticut and Clarksburg, West Virginia) that led to the divided nation we confront today.

Why it matters: Osnos will kick off the Chicago Humanities Festival tomorrow in a conversation about the city's role with former Chicago Tribune editor-in-chief Colin McMahon (who is also Monica's partner).

Chicago mayor passes the buck on CPS COVID plan

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks in front of a microphone
Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks at a press conference in 2020. Photo: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Mayor Lori Lightfoot will not take the blame for Chicago Public School's COVID-19 problems. She told Axios Chicago she's "deeply disappointed" in CPS leadership for its botched rollout of COVID protocols so far this year.

Why it matters: Since Mayor Daley took over CPS from the state in 1995, Chicago mayors have effectively run Chicago Public Schools, appointing CEOs and board presidents.

Monica Eng
Sep 22, 2021 - Politics

Chicago mayor angry with slow pace of lead line removal

A hand holding a lead pipe
A worker in Detroit removes a lead pipe that connected the water main to a home. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios.

Last September, Mayor Lori Lightfoot became the first Chicago mayor to launch a plan to remove Chicago's toxic lead service lines — pipes that connect most Chicago homes to the water main.

  • The plan aimed to remove 650 lead lines from low-income homes in the first year using $15 million in federal block grants.
Monica Eng
Sep 20, 2021 - COVID

Chicago has highest COVID-19 case rates in city worker neighborhoods

Map showing dark blue zones in the northwest and southwest corners of Chicago.
Maps show COVID-19 positivity rates (left) are highest in two ZIP codes where the highest concentrations of Chicago municipal workers happen to live (right). Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

COVID hot spots have moved all over Chicago in the past 18 months, but in recent weeks, the highest rates have emerged in two ZIP codes on the far Southwest and Northwest Sides, according to city data.

  • 60655 covers parts of Beverly, Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood.
  • 60656 covers parts of Jefferson Park and Norwood Park.

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