Axios Chicago

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Happy Monday and "Welcome to the Working Week"! We are back and ready to dive in.

β˜€οΈ Today's weather: Sunny with a high of 61.

Situational awareness: Axios political reporter (and our new best friend) Jonathan Swan is interviewing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at 1pm. Check out the livestream.

Today's newsletter is 853 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Census undercounts Illinois

Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Instead of losing numbers in the 2020 census, Illinois actually grew in population.

Why it matters: The population numbers, recently updated by the U.S. Census Bureau, could have a significant impact on the upcoming election season.

Context: GOP candidates were using early census numbers as proof that the state and city were both failing under Democratic leadership.

  • Now, Democrats are seizing the upper hand.

What they're saying: "Every single Republican running for governor has built a campaign on fraudulent claims badmouthing Illinois," Gov. J.B. Pritzker's campaign spokesperson, Natalie Edelstein, said in a press release.

  • The new data shows "the reality," Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (8th) told Illinois Playbook. "Anybody who perhaps is trying to sell the opposite will have to reckon with the facts now."

The intrigue: Early census numbers were the basis for redrawing both the Illinois congressional and Chicago ward maps.

  • One of the major points in the recent bitter ward map fight was that Chicago's Black population decreased.
  • Several Black leaders questioned those numbers, and the Black Caucus-endorsed map ultimately won out.

Yes, but: Illinois didn't gain enough to change the redrawn congressional maps and will still lose one congressional seat.

  • "There is no reason for Democrats to take a victory lap," GOP 8th district congressional candidate Chris Dargis said in a statement. "The new numbers also do not absolve the state’s poor fiscal health and terrible business policies."

2. White Sox say taunt is racist

Photo of a baseball player being restrained from fighting.
Tim Anderson is held back by teammates on Saturday against the Yankees in New York. Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The White Sox and Yankees fought on Saturday in New York, but not because of a dirty play or call on the field.

  • Instead, it was about racism.

Context: Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson called Tim Anderson "Jackie," in reference to Jackie Robinson.

Driving the news: Anderson took exception to the nickname, and words were exchanged. When Donaldson came to the plate, White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal got in his face, causing both teams to clear benches.

What they're saying: "He just made a disrespectful comment," Anderson said after the game. "I don't play like that. I don't really play at all."

  • "This game went through a period of time a lot of those comments were made, and I think we're way past that," Grandal told reporters after the game.

The other side: Donaldson doesn't deny calling Anderson "Jackie" but told reporters it was an inside joke referencing the article.

Backstory: These two players are not friends. They fought in Chicago earlier this month and last year when Donaldson was with the Twins.

The intrigue: Yesterday, the Sox swept the doubleheader against the Yankees. Anderson hit a 3-run home run in the nightcap. As he rounded the bases, New York fans booed him and chanted "Jackie."

What's next: MLB says it is investigating the incident. The Sox welcome the Red Sox to Guaranteed Rate Field on Tuesday.

πŸ’­ Justin's thought bubble: Even if Donaldson wasn't trying to be racist, he wasn't calling Anderson "Jackie" as a term of endearment. It's high school bullying at best, disrespectful racism at worst.

  • You are an adult playing a kids' game. Act like it.

3. Tips and hot links

Illustration of the Chicago municipal device made out of Chicago-style hot dogs.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

😷 COVID-19 metrics are expected to move into "high" risk this week. No mask mandates though … yet. (Tribune)

Two men have been charged in the mass shooting in front of a Near North Side McDonald's last week. (Sun-Times)

πŸ“ž The feds have wiretap recordings of Mike Madigan learning of a plan to give secret payments to a fired staffer. The same payments he had previously, publicly denied knowing anything about. (Sun-Times)

βœ… Stacy Davis Gates and the CORE ticket won the Chicago Teachers Union election. Davis Gates was most recently the CTU vice president and will take over for Jesse Sharkey as president. (WTTW)

🎀 "Kick, Push, Teach"? Hip-hop star Lupe Fiasco is teaching a rap course at MIT. (Stereogum)

New jobs to check out

⚽️ Get the ball rolling. Check out these openings from our Job Board.

  1. Talent Acquisition Specialist at Blueground.
  2. Vice President of People & Culture at Power Construction.
  3. Senior Wealth Advisor at Mesirow.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

4. Your takes on No Mow May

Illustration of a lawn mower next to cut grass forming the shape of a sad face
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Last week, Monica asked if you're participating in the No Mow May phenomenon.

  • We got some great responses, including:

Josh M.: "I tried No Mow May, but the heat and rain made the grass grow so fast I was afraid my tiny little mower wouldn’t be able to get through, so I had to give up earlier this week."

Jill B.: "My town (Glenview) did 'No Mow 'til Mother's Day' and I participated. The lawn got pretty shaggy, but I think it was worthwhile. Now on to maintaining my pollinator garden."

  • Spencer W. (also from Glenview): "I think that end date was too early to have much of an impact, but my lawn did get a little shaggy. The first mow of the year was a very cathartic experience."

Carol L.: "I will be following the recommendation of IDPH: Make sure the property around your home is unattractive to ticks. Keep your grass mowed and keep weeds cut."

  • "My husband, David, contracted Lyme disease here in Chicago."

Hannah F.: I'm the communications coordinator with Sierra Club Illinois, and I'm a huge fan of No Mow May! Many Sierra Club members in Illinois are participating in this effort, specifically in Westmont β€” 170 homeowners signed up to participate in the initiative.

5. Photo of the day: 1960s State Street

Photo of a street with several street lights and old signs, circa 1960s.
Blurred automobile traffic and storefront neon signs in Chicago, 1963. Photo: R. Krubner/ClassicStock/Getty Images

It was announced last week that Dinkel's iconic neon sign will be auctioned off.

  • The 101-year-old bakery closed last month.

This news, plus the auctioning off of the old Orange Garden sign, got us thinking about other neon signs of Chicago's past.

πŸ“¬ What iconic sign would you want to put in your front room?

  • Reply and let us know!

πŸ˜‡ Justin loved D.C. Especially the Wok and Roll karaoke bar in Chinatown, which lets you book private rooms till 3am πŸ˜„.

🦜 Monica is fascinated by this cool online bird migration tracker that tells you how many and what kinds of birds are currently migrating over Cook County. Thanks to our reader Julia G. for the tip.

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