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Today's newsletter is 946 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Alders push to oust CTA chief

CTA president Dorval Carter speaks at a Chicago City Council hearing in February. Photo: Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A group of nearly 20 alders led by Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) will introduce a resolution next week to oust embattled Chicago Transit Authority president Dorval Carter, as first reported by Block Club.

Why it matters: The move comes after others β€” including Ald. Matt Martin, Ald. Scott Waguespack, Gov. JB Pritzker, commuter groups and editorial boards β€” have made similar calls, and after failed CTA promises to restore post-COVID service.

  • With so many alders on board, the resolution could provide the critical mass necessary to shift policy on a question the city has grappled with for months.

What they're saying: "You have citizens on the ground asking us for change, the number [of alders] wanting change is growing by the day in the City Council, and issues aren't getting properly addressed," Vasquez told Block Club.

Reality check: Only Mayor Brandon Johnson β€” who has resisted previous calls to oust Carter β€” and the Transit Board, to which Johnson appoints most seats, have the power to fire a CTA president.

The other side: "Bus and rail services have been added, ridership is trending upward, crime rates are decreasing, and service is more reliable β€” all evidence that CTA's recent efforts are working," a CTA spokesperson told Axios yesterday in response to the proposed resolution.

Catch up quick: Carter was appointed to lead the CTA by then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2015. He remained largely under the radar until the pandemic when ghost buses, dirty trains and smoking riders inspired a commuter backlash.

Between the lines: Resolution co-signers include staunch Johnson allies including Alds. Maria Hadden, Daniel LaSpata, Jessie Fuentes, Rosanna Rodriguez-Sanchez and Byron Sigcho-Lopez, as well as mayoral critics, Axios has learned.

What's next: Vasquez says he's not sure when the full council might vote on the measure.

Go deeper

2. Bally's betting on new perks to raise revenue

Bally's Casino in River North. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

Bally's is ramping up the amenities at its temporary casino after revenues declined in April.

Why it matters: The temporary casino, which opened last fall, is meant to be a peek into how much revenue the permanent casino could bring when it's expected to open in 2026, but so far earnings haven't matched expectations.

The latest: Bally's Chicago reported a month-to-month revenue decline for the first time in April, bringing in $10.3 million, down from about $11.1 million in March.

  • In a recent quarterly earnings call, Bally's execs attributed lower revenue to difficult parking downtown and "Chicago's famous winters."

Between the lines: Sure, but it was a mild winter.

State of play: Bally's is now offering valet parking and says it's expanded its menu and seating at one of the restaurants.

By the numbers: Since it opened, Bally's temporary casino has earned $71 million in total adjusted gross, according to Illinois Gaming Board reports.

  • Compare that revenue with Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, which pulled in $346 million in the same period.

Yes, but: The casino's opening was delayed, and hours weren't expanded until December.

Keep reading

3. Tips and hot links: Wadsworth to close

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

🏫 The city is closing the Wadsworth migrant shelter in Woodlawn, 15 months after it opened. The former elementary school was one of the first shelters created by then-Mayor Lori Lightfoot. (WTTW)

πŸ’§ A City Council committee approved Mayor Brandon Johnson's plan to offer over $2 million in relief to those who have expensive water bills because of leaks in underground service lines. (Sun-Times)

πŸ³οΈβ€πŸŒˆ More participants were added to this year's Pride Parade after pushback from organizers against the decision to scale it back. (Block Club)

4. How to fake it: 2024 Chicago Sky

Angel Reese is one of the Sky's newest stars. Photo: David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Chicago Sky tip off their highly anticipated 2024 season tomorrow.

Why it matters: The team drafted two collegiate stars who have brought new excitement to Chicago's WNBA franchise.

Driving the news: If you find yourself in a hot conversation about the Sky this week, here are some nuggets to help you sound like you belong.

The big picture: This Sky team is waaaaayyyy different from the team that won the championship in 2021. The organization has completely moved on from the old front office, coach and championship roster.

  • A quick nostalgic, "Aww, I miss Allie Quigley," will endear you to longtime fans.

State of play: The Sky drafted South Carolina's Kamilla Cardoso and LSU's Angel Reese.

  • Reese is the bigger star, in part because of her college rivalry with phenom Caitlin Clark.
  • Quipping, "This kid is a triple-double away from a Gatorade commercial" could show you're paying attention to her rising fame.

By the numbers: The team's ticket prices have gone through the roof, especially for games when the Sky play Clark and the Indiana Fever. If the preseason is any indication, Sky games will attract lots of local celebs.

  • "$300 for a ticket for a regular-season game? Only if I get to sit next to Caleb Williams, Jeremy Allen White and Joan Cusack. Amirite?" offers a surefire laugh line.

Reality check: The rookies are generating a lot of hype, but it's also their first time playing against professionals.

Yes, but: "If Cardoso and Reese can slow the game down and dominate in the paint, it should free up some easy shots from the guards on the perimeter."

  • Memorize that sentence. You have just become the biggest Sky fan in the conversation.

What's next: The Sky tip off in Dallas against the Wings at 7pm tomorrow.

5. Where in the world is ... Justin?

Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

πŸ‘‹ Do you know where Justin is this week? Here's a hint:

  • A statue that sits on filled-in land
  • When Lake Michigan had way more sand
  • A Chicago pirate who tried to seize his time
  • Has his name affixed to the welcome sign

Guess where Justin is here.

Edited by Lindsey Erdody and copy edited by Rob Reinalda and Aurora MartΓ­nez.

πŸ₯– Monica is excited to hear that the amazing Hewn Bakery is opening a third location, in Winnetka.

πŸ₯Ž Justin is bummed the opening night of softball was rained out. But now he can enjoy The Hideout tomorrow without being sore.

Carrie is off today.

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