🚬 Happy Friday! On this day in 1919, the Anti-Cigarette League of America was formed in Chicago.

  • Today's weather: Gorgeous. Sunny with a high of 79Β°. Then the heat comes in for the weekend.

πŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Chicago member Rachel Mersey! And an early happy birthday to member Annette Bjorling!

⛑️ Situational awareness: For those of you who read our story about migrants and wanted to know how to help, you can donate various ways here, but please do NOT drop off items at police stations, city officials say.

Today's newsletter is 902 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Prepping for new CPS year

Parents and students arrive for the first day of school at Nettelhorst in Lakeview in 2022. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Though most suburban schools are already back in session, CPS officially launches its academic year for more than 300,000 students on Monday.

Why it matters: The resumption of the school year will dramatically shift commuting, working and sleeping patterns for at least a million Chicagoans, including students, teachers, staff, parents and workers at school-related businesses.

  • That means even if you don't have kids in CPS, you'll probably feel the effects of 400,000 more commuters on the street. Enjoy the calm before the swarm.

Four things to watch

family with hands on heart
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, his wife, Stacie, sons Owen and Ethan and daughter Braedyn stand for the Pledge of Allegiance during Johnson's inauguration ceremony in May. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Mayor and CPS parent

What's new: Mayor Brandon Johnson will become the first city chief in recent memory to send his children to Chicago Public Schools.

  • As a former CPS teacher and CTU lobbyist, Johnson may maintain the closest ties to the system we've ever seen in a Chicago mayor.

What we're watching: Whether these close ties mean a rare four straight years of labor peace in one of the city's biggest workforces.


State of play: After a decade of enrollment declines, CPS dropped to the nation's fourth-largest school district last year, behind Miami-Dade County, Chalkbeat Chicago reports.

  • Last fall, CPS stood at 322,106 students, which is 9,000 fewer than the previous year and 80,000 fewer than the decade before that.

What we're watching: How the recent influx of Afghan, Syrian, Ukrainian and Central and South American arrivals affects that equation.

Two more things to watch ... .

2. Chance's 'Acid Rap' Week

chance video
Chance's image on display at the new WNDR museum exhibit. GIF: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

This is unofficially Chance the Rapper week in Chicago.

Driving the news: The hip-hop artist is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his mixtape "Acid Rap" with pop-ups, scavenger hunts, new canned beverages and a huge show tomorrow night at the United Center.

Context: Chance has released highly successful studio albums, but his career effectively started when he put out "Acid Rap" as his second mixtape.

  • Since that mixtape dropped in 2013, he has become a worldwide sensation, including recently winning our poll for best Chicago hip-hop artist.

What they said: Chicago Tribune critic Greg Kot reviewed the mixtape in May 2013, saying "This is his show, a springboard for his versatility as an MC, thinker, improviser and surrealist."

What's happening: Chance has made this anniversary about more than just his United Center performance. He's opened a pop-up exhibit and store at WNDR museum in the West Loop.

  • He's also set up free ticket giveaways for his United Center show at his favorite Chicago places, in hopes of getting his fans to support them. They include The DuSable Museum and YOUmedia at the Harold Washington Library and The Rink Chicago.
Chance merchandise at the WNDR Museum. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

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3. Tips and hot links

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

🎟️ Some fair attendees feel coerced into paying street festival entrance fees, and some companies are flouting city rules against selling admission tickets. (BlockClub)

πŸš“ The city's largest police union is trying to move more than 20 disciplinary cases out of the hands of the Chicago Police Board and behind closed doors, a blow to police reform and accountability. (Tribune)

πŸ€ The Bulls regular season schedule was announced yesterday. They only play seven nationally televised games. (NBA)

4. Best Day Ever: DJ Corchin

Author DJ Corchin talks to students at Grayslake High School. Photo: Courtesy of DJ Corchin

Award-winning Chicago-based children's author DJ Corchin has helped kids handle their emotions through his words. Now, he's doing the same for adults.

What's happening: Corchin's newest work is called "Shut Up and Feel," a picture book for grown-ups, exploring the ups and downs of the human experience.

What they're saying: "Every time an adult comes up to me after reading the kids books on emotions I hear, 'I wish they had these for adults,'" Corchin tells Axios.

  • "Adults need permission to do what's right for them and the stigma of mental health care is still very prevalent. This book, through humor and relatability, does just that."

Details: Corchin is raising money the help publish the book through a kickstarter, which is live until early next week. He's also presenting at Lit Fest in September.

We asked the longtime Chicagoan how he'd feel about sharing his perfect day in the city, and he generously shared this:

Osmium Coffee Bar. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Breakfast: "Any best day in Chicago has to start with the right coffee. For me it would be the darkest Dark Matter roast I could find at Osmium Coffee Bar in Lakeview. I would then mosey, coffee in hand, a little east to Maison Parisienne on Clark Street and get a homemade quiche or a pastry."

Morning activity: "The morning would take me a little south so I could sit on the rocks over the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool in Lincoln Park. The lily pool is my favorite place in all of Chicagoland."

Keep reading.

If you have a recommendation on who you would like to hear from in our Best Day Ever feature, email us and let us know!

Stay booked and busy

πŸ“…Upcoming events around the city.

Craig Ferguson: The Fancy Rascal Tour at Rialto Square Theatre on Aug. 29:

  • Craig Ferguson is a multiple Grammy-nominated, Peabody- and Emmy Award-winning actor, writer and producer.
  • Craig has previously worked as a director and comedian with a diverse career that encompasses film, television and the stage.
  • The show begins at 8 p.m.

Hosting an event? Email [email protected].

5. Good sport: Playing pickleball

A paddle rests against the net during the APP Chicago Open at Danny Cunniff Park in Highland Park last year. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Get ready, Chicago. This month, one of the nation's biggest pickleball tournaments will take over Highland Park.

  • And it's not just for pickle pros.

Details: The APP Chicago Open returns to Danny Cunniff Park in Highland Park and will feature not just the best pickleball players in the world, but also amateurs who have signed up to play.

Of note: You can simply watch the tournament, of course, but if you want brush up on your skills to compete, you can start Sunday at Maggie Daley Park, where the Shake Shack's Pickleball Club will help amateurs learn.

  • All of Sunday's proceeds benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Edited by Delano Massey and copy edited by Rob Reinalda and Keely Bastow.

Our picks:

πŸ’ƒπŸ» Carrie thinks everyone should check out the Slo 'Mo 12th anniversary party at Sleeping Village, a dance party celebrating Chicago's queer community.

🎸 Monica really wants to go see the Old 97's tomorrow night at Thalia Hall.

🏈 Justin is going to watch the Bears preseason game tomorrow until he realizes that he's watching a preseason game and stops.

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