Axios Chicago

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Happy Tuesday. The primary election is finally here! If you haven't already, get out and vote.

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Today's newsletter is 938 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Griffin flees to Miami

Guy in front of a building
Ken Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel, in 2014. Photo: E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune via Getty Images

Illinois is in the middle of a high-stakes game of corporate musical chairs — and we might be the one left without a seat.

Driving the news: Billionaire Ken Griffin announced last week he was moving the headquarters of his hedge fund, Citadel, from Chicago to Miami.

  • It was the third large corporate departure from Illinois announced this month, after Boeing and Caterpillar trumpeted moves to Virginia and Texas, respectively.

Why it matters: Citadel employs more than 1,000 people in the area, and Griffin plays an influential role in local politics and philanthropy.

  • Plus, an exodus of companies from the state can hurt tax coffers and the local economy.

The impact: "Losing Citadel is a punch in the gut to the city's economic reputation," Civic Federation president Laurence Msall told Crain's.

  • "Over the past decade, the firms' principals and employees have driven billions of dollars in tax revenue to Illinois and Chicago," Citadel spokesperson Zia Ahmed tells Axios. "In Chicago alone, Ken has donated more than $600 million to educational, cultural, medical and civic organizations."

Context: The firm will maintain an office in downtown Chicago and in 17 other global cities.

What he's saying: "Miami is a vibrant, growing metropolis that embodies the American Dream," Griffin wrote in an email to Citadel staff.

The intrigue: Griffin has poured millions of dollars into local political campaigns, and his candidates could be facing a rough primary today.

Yes, but: The hedge fund founder had already publicly mulled leaving Chicago, citing local violence.

  • "The firms are having difficulty recruiting top talent from across the world to Chicago given the rising and senseless violence in the city," Ahmed says.
  • "Talent wants to live in cities where they feel safe."

The other side: The Chicago area still leads the nation in corporate relocations.

What they're saying: "We will continue to welcome those businesses and support emerging industries that are already creating good jobs and investing billions in Illinois, like data centers, electric vehicles and quantum computing," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement.

What's next: Monday afternoon, Chicago leaders sent letters to more than 300 Fortune 500 CEOs in states facing abortion bans inviting them to relocate to Chicago.

2. Podcast Spotlight: "Caropop"

An amp and a word
Photo courtesy of the "Caropop" podcast

If you liked Mark Caro's longform interviews in the Tribune and his "Talking in Space" series in Evanston, you'll love his "Caropop" podcast.

  • The veteran local journalist describes it as "an excuse to continue in-depth conversations with creative people whose work I love."

In that vein, we interviewed Caro about his new audio series.

Intended vibe: The "High Fidelity" of podcasts, because "I appreciate the opportunity to nerd out on my favorite music, movies, food, what have you."

His biggest surprise: "That so many awesome guests have said yes. Richard Thompson, Sam Phillips, Dave Gregory and Terry Chambers of XTC, Chris Frantz of Talking Heads, Bruce Thomas of Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Kathy Valentine of the Go-Go’s, Colin Blunstone of The Zombies, Jody Stephens of Big Star."

  • And the popularity of interviews with "mastering engineers Bernie Grundman, Kevin Gray and Ryan Smith. The No. 1 is with producer Steve Albini, so the audio nerds are out in force."

Go deeper for favorite episodes and future guests.

3. Chart of the Day: EV popularity

Data: S&P Global Mobility; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios. Explore the interactive map.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law last fall to try to make the state a leader in electric vehicle manufacturing and use.

  • It proposed putting a million EVs — about 20% of all vehicles — on Illinois roads by 2030.

State of play: The latest data shows the Chicago market alone is currently at 3.7% and we overwhelmingly prefer Teslas.

Data: S&P Global Mobility; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

4. Tips and hot links

Illustration of a humongous Willis Tower looming over the earth and sending out small lightning bolts from its antennas.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🎥 Video of Mayor Lori Lightfoot at Pride declaring "f--- Clarence Thomas" is going viral. (Patch)

🗳 The Sun-Times and WBEZ teamed up on a handy, comprehensive voter guide. (WBEZ/Sun-Times)

🍜 If you've had trouble finding bison ramen, today's your lucky day. (Tribune)

Fresh job openings around town

💼 Take your career to the next level and see who’s hiring.

  1. Regional Operations Executive at KemperSports.
  2. Employee Benefits Account Manager at Avenica.
  3. Vice President of Financial Communications and Capital Markets at Edelman.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. Your favorite salads

Goi ga at Cafe Hoang. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

We recently argued over our favorite salads.

As always, you tossed us your own great picks:

Nancy M.: "Neither vegan nor especially healthy, but Malnati's salad is my guilty pleasure, even without pizza (a double treat). Romaine, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese and an addictive sweet dressing. Yummy!"

Halle M.: "The chickpea salad (not vegan, especially when I add griddled chicken) at Little Goat Diner is the absolute best."

Beth M.: "My vote can be found at Roots Handmade Pizza. I usually go with the build-your-own option because they offer many interesting ingredients, such as curry cauliflower and toasted cashews (I was sad to see biscuit pieces dropped from the list)."

Tom H.: "Big fan of the salads at the Firehouse Grill up here in Evanston. Recommend the chopped salad, which has about 20 things on it."

💭 Monica's thought bubble: My favorite salad experience is singing and dancing to '70s tunes while collecting my pile of veggies at the R.J. Grunts salad bar.

  • I love that they've kept the food and playlist almost completely unchanged for 50 years.

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

Guy downtown
Photo: Justin Kaufmann

These are getting too easy for you, so we're voting to up the difficulty on this Election Day.


  • This political "safe space" is no longer there
  • Since an infamous alderman got quite a scare
  • In a city that's windy and full of hot air
  • This place had a bug with its greasy spoon fare

📫 Reply with what used to be in this spot and you could win some Axios swag!

Our picks:

🚲 Monica won't comment on Ken Griffin's politics or business, but she sure loves those separated bike/pedestrian lanes he bought for the lakefront.

🗳 Justin is out on vacation but still covering the election.

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