Lead Story: On Wednesday the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance designed to protect undocumented immigrants. Dubbed the “Welcoming City” law, the bill means local authorities won’t cooperate with federal officials when the only reason for issuing a warrant is the suspicion the resident is an illegal immigrant. The city hopes undocumented immigrants will now report crimes without fear of retribution, but as the Tribune noted, the law is largely symbolic. Nonetheless, the bill's sponsor, Ald. Joe Moore (49th), told CBS 2, “It sends a strong message. It codifies what’s been part of city policy and executive order for some time, that if you go to the police; if you have an encounter with the Chicago Police Department, you don’t have to fear that you are going to be turned over to the federal immigration authorities.”
Lead Story: While locally our attention has been turned towards the teachers strike, there was another story going on in the background: the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. As we put more distance between us and that horrible event in our nation’s history, the day is finally starting to resemble other such days of remembrance. (This, of course, is from the perspective from someone who didn’t live in New York, D.C. or Pennsylvania, nor lost a loved one that day; for those that did, 9/11 will always hold different meaning.) It’s a strange transition, one our nation hasn’t seen since Pearl Harbor; there were fewer 9/11 families at the memorial this year than ever before. Perhaps it’s because the 11th anniversary doesn't mark a milestone or because the death of bin Laden takes an edge off. Or maybe we’re finally moving forward, processing and learning from what happened rather than staying, immovable, in the past.
But as we move on, a new wave of creepiness is setting in.
Lead Story: There comes a point when you have to throw your hands up and give credit where it's due. So today, I give credit to Illinois’ Crazy Uncle™, U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh. Sure, I’ve gotten riled up about the outlandish things Crazy Uncle Joe has said in the past, but with his latest volley? Telling Sandra Fluke to “get a job”? Taking another potshot at his opponent, Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth, by saying she only cares about her outfit? You, sir, are nothing if not the most consistent candidate out there. You know when to say when and not simply stoop to, “Women love shopping, am I right, fellas?
Lead Story: It was a weekend full of long, heated negotiations late into the night. Then, CTU president Karen Lewis announced at a 10 p.m. press conference Sunday that the strike was on, the first teachers strike in the city in 25 years. The issues between the two sides are legion: a school-year calendar, longer school days, class size, etc. Yet during Lewis' conference last night, many reporters kept pushing the question about pay and compensation, something Lewis even chastized reporters for. Rest assured, over the coming hours and days, we'll hear much, much more about the smaller nuances of the disputed talks as well as the bigger picture issues. While the sides are close to a deal in some regards, the general feeling is that this could be a while.
Also: The NFL is back in full swing!
Lead story: For the time being, Drew Peterson is guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. I say “for the time being” because I have a hard time believing that the defense won't appeal based on how incompetent the prosecution’s presentation of its case was. Almost every day, it seemed, the judge considered a mistrial motion, and the lone hold-out juror admitted he voted to convict based solely on the controversial hearsay evidence. Thankfully, of course, I'm not an attorney, so I could be totally wrong. But an hour or so before the verdict was delivered, the jury, whose fashion shenanigans have gotten plenty of notice, sent the judge a note asking him what the definition of “unanimous” was. I’d understand if they needed to be reminded of the rules involving a hung jury.
Lead Story: Recently I mused about how some local rap artists, specifically Chief Keef, are emblematic of Chicago's violence problem. Now, police are looking into possible connections between Keef and the shooting death of one of his “rivals,” Lil Jojo (aka 18-year-old Joseph Coleman). Police think the shooting may be part of a gang war between the Gangster Disciples and the Black Disciples, to which Keef has been tied. So far, there have been no solid connections between Keef and the murder, much less any charges. But Keef did draw attention from police for a tweet following Coleman’s death: “Its Sad Cuz Dat Nigga Jojo Wanted To Be Jus Like Us #LMAO.” Of course, Keef later played the tired “my account was hacked” card. The story doesn’t end there, though.
Lead story: Tuesday night was the big first night at the Democratic National Convention with first lady Michelle Obama, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro getting the headlines for their impassioned (and in Patrick’s case, fiery) speeches. But a trio of Illinois leaders took to the stage as well, and all three made an impression — though not quite what we could have expected. The usually milquetoast Gov. Pat Quinn must have drawn the short straw in the “who is the attack dog” lottery because he came out firing at the Romney campaign with a show of spirit Illinois residents have seen, well, never. That Tammy Duckworth was well-received wasn’t a surprise but just how well-received was; the Iraq War vet garnered national attention for her excellent speech. (And let’s be honest, crazy uncle Rep.
Lead story: The Democratic National Convention kicks off in full today in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the party hoping to grab momentum back from the GOP and get an early lead in the two-month sprint to election day. That shouldn’t be hard: The response to the GOP convention seems tepid at best. Among the speakers at the DNC tonight is our own
beloved mayor, Rahm Emanuel. His appearance makes sense as he was secret-keeper to the Clinton administration and spent the first 20 months of the Obama administration as its attack dog. But Rahm’s appearance will come during the toughest time yet of his mayoral term, one that threatens to undermine the efficacy of his vocal support for the party.