Chicago news roundup: Dems hold supermajorities in Legislative Assembly, another challenger Lightfoot enters race and more

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Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. This is a roughly five minute read that will educate you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be mostly sunny with a high near 75 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a chance of rain and a low near 44. Veterans Day will also be mostly sunny with a high near 44.

top story

Democrats hold supermajorities in Legislature, Durkin giving up House GOP leadership

With a redistricting on their side, strong fundraising from party leaders and a boost of millions from Gov. JB Pritzker, the State House Democrats appear to be maintaining their supermajority status in both chambers — and likely even increasing this advantage in the House.

There was no “red wave” — or even ripple — at the Illinois General Assembly.

And Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin’s post-election announcement that he will not seek re-election as Minority Leader reflects the discontent of many establishment Republicans in the state.

“I began this journey as a voice of moderation and I conclude this journey the same way I began, a voice of moderation,” the Western Springs Republican said in a statement. “To the people of Illinois who are disappointed with these results, don’t give up hope. Tomorrow is another day.”

The writing was already on the wall for Durkin after Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin lost the Republican primary race for governor.

Statehouse Republicans hoped Irvin, with the backing of millions from billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, could help reshape the state party. But Irvin’s loss came with the state’s GOP embrace of State Sen. Darren Bailey, a far-right Donald Trump supporter whom some Republicans have struggled to support. Durkin had hopeful messages about crime and the economy could help win three seats to break the Democratic supermajority.

A “supermajority” is the three-fifths majority required by any bill passed after May 31 for the law to come into effect within the next 12 months. A supermajority is also required to override a governor’s veto.

State Senate Speaker Don Harmon and House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch said on Tuesday they retained their supermajorities in their respective chambers. After Tuesday’s landslide victories, Democrats essentially tightened their grip on state government, holding all elected statewide offices and securing another seat on the Illinois Supreme Court.

Tina Sfondeles has more on the General Assembly’s true blue status here.

More news you need

  1. A City Council committee today rejected sweeping search warrant reforms, ignoring an emotional plea from a woman who suffered a botched raid by police on the wrong home. The reforms were intended to prevent a repeat of the misguided raid that forced social worker Anjanette Young to stand naked in front of an all-male team of police officers.
  2. Newly released video shows a Chicago police officer shooting at an SUV with heavily tinted windows that was wanted in the shooting of an off-duty officer in Irving Park in September. Our Sophie Sherry and Tom Schuba have more on COPA’s ongoing investigation into the shooting here.
  3. Billing himself as the “coalition builder” Chicago needs, U.S. Representative Jesús “Chuy” García will join the mayoral race on Thursday, determined to defeat Lori Lightfoot. In an interview with our Fran Spielman, García said he was confident he could force Lightfoot to a runoff and the city’s progressive movement would unite behind him.
  4. First Lady Jill Biden is traveling to Chicago and Rolling Meadows on Monday to kick off National Learning Week with members of the Biden cabinet, the White House announced today. The purpose of the trip, the White House said, is to “highlight the Biden administration’s commitment” to expanding learning, reports our Lynn Sweet.
  5. Cook County voters overwhelmingly supported a property tax hike to help the forest preserve earlier this week. The county’s forest preserves are one of the largest in the United States, with nearly 70,000 acres of natural areas.
  6. Several flight attendants held a press conference today at Midway Airport, hoping to draw attention to the lack of repercussions for passengers who harass and abuse flight crews. The action is part of a union-led effort dubbed the “Assault Won’t Fly” campaign, which is calling for the Abusive Passenger Protection Act to be passed.

A bright

For the Riverwalk mural, artist Kate Lewis was inspired by classic Chicago architecture

While researching for a mural she planned to paint to celebrate Chicago’s iconic buildings, Kate Lewis took a series of architectural tours.

Now, the mural she created on the Riverwalk between Wabash and Michigan avenues is itself the focus of tour groups.

She called it “The Radiance of Being” and drew inspiration from more than a dozen historic structures with Art Deco elements, including The Rookery, Merchandise Mart, Palmer House, Palmolive Building, and Chicago. Motor Club. building. Completed in 2020, the mural spans 180 feet and is accented with shimmering gold paint that reflects off the water.

“I wanted to keep that Art Deco feeling and kind of pay homage to those architects of the 1920s,” Lewis says of a clean architectural style that emerged a century ago.

“The Radiance of Being”, a 180-foot-long artist mural Kate Lewis painted in 2020 along the downtown Chicago River.

“Architecture looked so much better in my mind when people paid more attention to nuance,” says Lewis, 34. “With decorative patterns and ornaments.”

Part of the mural shows white-robed musicians playing flutes and harps – inspired by images carved into the front of the former Chicago Musicians’ Federation building, 175 W. Washington St., built in 1933 and enlarged later. Another part of the mural features images of hawk-like birds – inspired by the carvings on the bronze elevator doors at The Rookery, 209 S. LaSalle St.

“To be able to be part of such a big project in the city that developed me, I can’t even express how amazing it is,” Lewis says. “It’s a real fulfillment of life.

Austin Hojdar has more on the mural here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question☕

Suppose you opened a new restaurant in Chicago, where would it be located? Tell us why.

Email us at [email protected] and we might feature your response in the next afternoon edition.

Yesterday we asked you: what is the word or phrase that only Chicagoans know or use?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Gym shoes.” — Katie Levin

“The show, the pop, the sneakers.” — Eleanor Moro Klemp

“The show instead of the movies.” — Flores David

“The 100, used when someone lives on South 100th Street or higher and in the southern suburbs. Also, the ‘Wild 100s’ or the ‘hunnids’ Example: ‘Oh, you live in hundreds?’ — Nisa Neely

“You guys.” — Melissa Johnson Scottberg

“Sears Tower, Comesky Park, Marshall Fields.” — Pam Howard

“Take the ‘L.'” — Angel Busch

“End a sentence with the preposition ‘to.’ ‘Where are you?'” – Donna Oline

“As my grandmother yelled at us in Portage Park, ‘We’re going to walk to Sears and buy you new sneakers. Then we’ll go to the Jewels for a pop. ‘”- Antoine Imburgia

“Tell someone to go ‘to the lake’ instead of east.” — Alexandra Newmann

“Decent, you feel me.” — Epps Brownlow

“Borrow me = lend me.” — Thomas of London

“‘Frunch’ room.” — Rob Vee

“Sausage sandwich. Cut the grass not mow the lawn. Jokes not funny. Walkways pass between houses. Gutters not curbs or gutters not eaves.” — chuck klein

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