Third Coast Today

Welcome to Third Coast Today, our curated, of-the-moment rundown of the latest news in Chicago politics, education, business and finance. We'll cover Chicago, the state of Illinois and other news of interest to our arts-and-culture fiend readers. Catch it here for updates every weekday or check it out on our home page--in the first right-hand column.

Eight Annual Slutwalk Scheduled for Saturday

Chicago’s 8th annual Slutwalk demonstration will take place on Saturday, beginning at noon at the Chicago Water Tower monument on Chicago and Michigan Ave. Hundreds march each year in Chicago and other cities across the country to demand an end to rape culture, police violence, and to show support for and solidarity with survivors of sexual assault. Organizers say this year’s march is also to support a demonstrator last year who was arrested during the 2017 march, who they say was falsely accused of biting a police officer. “These false charges are based on transphobia and HIV stigma,” organizers said in a press release.

City Council to Vote on Congress Parkway Name Change for Ida B. Wells

A proposal to rename a section of Congress Parkway in the Loop to honor African American journalist and civil rights leader Ida B. Wells is expected to pass the City Council on Wednesday. If approved, the area of Congress Parkway from Grant Park to the Jane Byrne interchange would be renamed for Wells. The proposal passed the transportation committee last week. The initial proposal to honor Wells was to rename Balbo Avenue after her, but some Italian American groups opposed it, despite Italo Balbo being an actual fascist who served as right-hand man to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. (WGN9)

Alderman Ricardo Munoz Will Not Run For Reelection

Alderman Ricardo Munoz will not run for reelection next term, stepping down from his position representing the 14th Ward after 25 years. “It’s time for me to move on and write the next chapter of my life,” said Munoz in an exclusive interview with NBC5’s Carol Marin. Munoz was appointed in 1993 by Mayor Richard Daley to replace Chuy Garcia, after Garcia moved on to the Illinois State Senate. While he said he’s weighing his options, Munoz told Marin he’d continue to stay involved in politics, even hinting at a possible mayoral run down the road. “I’m not leaving politics, I’m not retiring from public service, I’m just retiring as alderman…I’m only 53, I can run for mayor in 2023 if I want to,” said Munoz. (NBC5)

Community Activists Plan To Shut Down Lake Shore Drive To Protest Gun Violence

Community activists are planning to shut down a section of Lake Shore Drive and later march to Wrigley Field to protest gun violence next week, the second such pre-planned protest on a major expressway in Chicago of the summer. “Oftentimes, the cries of complaints from poor people aren’t heard,” said Rev. Gregory Livingston, one of the organizers. “We have to go where the cries have to be heard.” Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina’s church in Auburn-Gresham led a pre-planned shutdown of part of the Dan Ryan Expressway in early July. Groups organizing next week’s protest, which will take place on August 2nd around 4:00pm say they’ll enter Lake Shore Drive near Belmont and then march to Wrigley Field, where a Cubs game is scheduled to kick off at 7:05pm. (Chicago Tribune)

Striking Window Washers Picket City Hall

Striking window washers took their message to City Hall Wednesday morning and were joined in solidarity by community members and local Aldermen. Window washers with SEIU Local 1 have been on strike for three weeks demanding their employers return to the bargaining table. Among their demands are a $25/hour base wage and affordable health benefits, given the dangerous nature of the work they do. At present some window washers, who on a regular basis hang hundreds of feet in the air at prominent buildings like City Hall and Trump and Willis Tower, make as little as minimum wage, and often cannot afford employer-provided healthcare.

Detained Immigrant Children Describe Poor Conditions, Abuse, at Shelters

Stunning allegations of physical and emotional abuse of migrant children separated from their parents at the border and held in shelters have begun to surface, including one Chicago shelter run by the Heartland Alliance. “I felt like a prisoner,” said one nine year-old Brazilian boy who was held for five weeks – three in isolation due to chickenpox – at the shelter in Chicago. At one point the shelter allegedly put up a gate to keep him in isolation. “I felt like a prisoner,” said the boy. Another 11 year-old from Guatemala held in the same shelter for six weeks said he had to ask permission to hug his sister. Other children also described verbal and physical abuse, threats they would be held indefinitely, poor conditions, lack of adequate medical care, and being injected with unknown substances. In a letter to Heartland, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said he was “distressed” by the allegations and demanded an investigation. (Washington Post)

Rahm Emanuel Has Already Raised $10 Million for Re-Election Bid

Big money is already flowing into the Chicago mayoral race, more than half a year away from election day. Incumbent Rahm Emanuel, who’s seeking a third term, has already managed to net more than $10 million in his campaign coffers, more than five times the amount raised by his 10 challengers combined. Next in line is former Police Board President Lori Lightfoot, who has raised $510,000, followed by former CPS CEO Paul Vallas, with $445,000, and Gary McCarthy with $425,000. (Chicago Tribune)

Mayoral Candidate Forum Scheduled for July 25th in Horner Park

The first candidate forum for the 2019 Chicago mayoral race will be held on July 25th in Horner Park. According to the 33rd Ward Democrats, who are organizing the event, all candidates have been invited and at least 9 have confirmed their participation. Mayor Rahm Emanuel so far has not confirmed. Candidates will appear separately for 10 minutes, with 5 being for a presentation and 5 for a question and answer session. The forum will take place from 7pm to 9pm at the Horner Park Fieldhouse at 2741 West Montrose.

Group Urges Governor to Sign Bill Exempting Illinois from Crosscheck

Local activists are urging Governor Rauner sign a bill on his desk that would increase protections for voters by stopping Illinois from participating in the Interstate Crosscheck system. Crosscheck is a program that collects voter registration information from participating states and “crosschecks” the data to find duplicate registrations. The system, which has been touted by the GOP and the Trump administration as a way to stop “millions of illegal voters,” which the administration has never proved actually exist, has not only been widely discredited, but contains several security gaps and has been used to purge legitimate voters from the rolls. “I’m hopeful that our Governor now sees the risks of exposing our voter data in a new light and will sign SB 2273,” said Steve Held, a leader with Indivisible Chicago, an activist group championing the legislation. “As we learn more about the scope of the 2016 hacks, it’s time to put partisanship aside and take election security and data privacy seriously.”

Rauner Appears With Pence At Rosemont Event

Governor Bruce Rauner fully and publicly embraced the Trump administration Friday, appearing arm-in-arm at a Republican fundraising event hosted by Vice President Mike Pence. “Mike Pence, along with President Trump, are doing it for every American, right now,” said Rauner, who previously shied away from openly embracing the President. Pence is touring the Midwest to put a spotlight on local GOP candidates ahead of the 2018 midterms. A group of protesters led by newly appointed director of the Illinois Democratic Party Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-Chicago) outside the event to blast both Rauner and Pence. “I’m out here because the people of Illinois need to know this is Rauner showing his true colors,” said Mitchell. “He’s standing with a vice president and an administration that is racist and misogynist.” (Sun-Times)