Axios Chicago

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🩺 Happy Friday! On this day in 1850, local doctors came together to start the Chicago Medical Society.

🏀 Situational awareness: The Bulls take on the Heat in Miami in the play-in tournament. If they win, they move on to a first-round playoff series with the Celtics. If they lose, their season is over.

ğŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Chicago member Patricia Hunt!

Today's newsletter is 922 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: CTU goes big with new contract demands

CTU president Stacy Davis Gates, left, with Mayor Brandon Johnson as he arrives at the Legler Regional Branch of the Chicago Public Library on Feb. 7. Photo: Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune via Getty Images

The Chicago Teachers Union released a list of "transformative" demands this week as they begin the arduous process of negotiating a new contract.

Why it matters: Chicago Public Schools and the CTU — one of the most progressive teachers unions in the country — are looking to disrupt the pattern of contentious standoffs that have led to multiple work stoppages since 2012.

What they're saying: "Our collective bargaining agreement is a tool, a vehicle for transformative change and we are going to up the ante," CTU president Stacy Davis-Gates said at a recent press conference.

State of play: The union has put forth over 700 new items in what they're calling the most "ambitious" contract proposal ever.

  • The CTU wants higher pay for teachers and staff. They're also pushing the city to pay for affordable housing for unhoused families and for all CPS students to learn an additional language.
  • Plus, fully funded special education classes, year-round sports for all schools and smaller class sizes.

The intrigue: Negotiations are expected to look different this time around. In recent years, the mayor and the union were not politically aligned. But all that has changed.

  • Mayor Brandon Johnson had previously worked for the CTU and was backed by the union in the 2023 election.
  • Johnson pushed back on any perceived conflict this week, saying he comes to the talks as a CPS parent: "What I want for my children, I want for everyone: a fully funded system."

The big picture: Federal COVID relief dollars have run out, and CPS faces a $391 million deficit.

  • The district has already sent next year's budget proposals to schools, which don't include raises or other CTU proposed investments.
  • The union and the mayor want the state to kick in more money for CPS, but Illinois officials haven't signaled that increasing Chicago's school funding is a legislative priority.

What's next: The current contract expires June 30.

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2. Bad times for new "Good Times"

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Netflix's animated reboot of the classic TV show "Good Times" is getting pushback for its negative tropes about Chicago and Black families.

Why it matters: The original sitcom, which turns 50 this year, has long been lauded for its nuanced portrayal of a loving family living in the now-demolished Cabrini-Green housing projects and struggling to get ahead. But detractors say the animated version misses the mark.

Catch up quick: The reboot debuted on Netflix last Friday, and viewers including the NAACP and the original series' stars have weighed in.

  • The NAACP says viewers reached out to the civil rights organization about negative stereotypes portrayed in the show when the reboot's trailer was released late last month.
  • They brought the complaints to the attention of the show's producers, who include NBA star Steph Curry and "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane. The NAACP says it was told the show is meant to "push the envelope."

What they're saying:​​ "What is clear today … is the choice made by Netflix to market the show based on an interpretation of Black life as an 'otherized' experience, replete with abhorrent beliefs and behaviors," the NAACP's Kyle Bowser writes in the Hollywood Reporter.

The other side: "This show is edgier and more irreverent than the 'Good Times' of our childhood, but it's still a show about family, fighting the system and working to make things better despite where you start out in the world," Yvette Nicole Brown, who plays mother and wife Beverly Evans, wrote on X.

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3. Tips and hot links: "Hunger Games" camp sign-up

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

A new federal hub is sharing data about guns used in crimes in Chicago and cities nationwide. (Sun-Times)

🩱 Some Chicago Park District summer programs sold out in minutes this week during a process one participant likened to the "Hunger Games." (Block Club)

🚗 Uber is rolling out a rider verification feature today in Chicago aimed at improving driver safety. Most riders will be automatically verified through existing Uber-held data. (ABC7)

📺 Comedian Stephen Colbert will bring his "Late Show" to the Auditorium Theater during the Democratic National Convention. (WGN9)

4. ğŸ˜ž Blackhawks season to forget

Connor Bedard stickhandles against the Dallas Stars at the United Center on April 6. Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Blackhawks' historically bad season is over.

The big picture: The team amassed a franchise-record 54 losses, but the future looks bright with a slew of young players.

The best: Connor Bedard. The No. 1 overall pick lived up to the hype, leading the team in points, goals and assists. He broke his jaw halfway through the season, which forced him to miss a number of games.

  • Philipp Kurashev flashed, too.

The worst: The defense was a far cry from the days of Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith shutting down opponents. The 'Hawks pay defenseman Seth Jones a pretty penny, but he battled injuries and was largely ineffective this season. The goaltending was abysmal.

Lowly stat: Their road record was 7-33-1. Yikes.

Yes, but: The 'Hawks will be at the top of the 2024 draft, with a 13.5% chance to land the overall No. 1 pick.

What's next: The draft lottery will take place in early May.

Sponsored event listings

Stay booked and busy

📅 Upcoming events around the city.

Reception and Tour of Chicago's Iconic Chess Records with Amy Bizzarri on May 26: Join Amy Bizzarri, author of the Best Hits on the Blues Highway, for an afternoon reception and private tour of iconic Chess Records benefiting Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation. The ticket includes a private tour of Chess Records, a copy of the book Best Hits on the Blues Highway, and light refreshments. $60.

Hosting an event? Email [email protected].

5. Zingerman's stops by Chicago

EEEEEATSCON festival in 2023 at the Salt Shed. Photo courtesy of Emily Schindler

Beloved Ann Arbor deli Zingerman's will be in Chicago this July for the Infatuation's EEEEEATSCON food festival.

The big picture: EEEEEATSCON is billed like a music fest, except restaurants are the stars. It features both national and local food favorites and special pop-ups like this year's collaboration with Shake Shack and Zingerman's.

State of play: The food festival will be held July 13-14 at the Salt Shed.

  • Pre-sale tickets are available now at half off for Chase Sapphire credit card holders, and $25 for the general public starting May 15.

More details

Editor's note: A chart in yesterday's story about Chicago Sky ticket prices was corrected to reflect that the athletes' salaries are average annual salaries.

Edited by Alexa Mencia and copy edited by Rob Reinalda and Yasmeen Altaji.

ğŸŽ­ Carrie is looking forward to seeing Eddie Izzard play Hamlet this weekend at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

ğŸŽž Monica wishes she could head back down to Champaign this weekend for EbertFest.

😔 Justin is sad that Jimmy Butler got hurt, just because Jimmy vs. the Bulls is always a fun Friday night.

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