WBEZ | Chicago City Council http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-city-council Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Black Lawmakers Call for Broader Federal Probe http://www.wbez.org/news/black-lawmakers-call-broader-federal-probe-114100 <p><p>CHICAGO (AP) &mdash; Several black Illinois lawmakers are asking the U.S. Department of Justice to expand its investigation of the&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Police Department to include the Cook County State&#39;s Attorney&#39;s Office and the civilian agency that investigates officer misconduct.</p><p>State Sen. Kimberly Lightford is chairwoman of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. She said Tuesday that problems in&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;go beyond the police department.</p><p>The&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Democrat says &quot;only an outside investigation&quot; that includes the prosecutor&#39;s office and the Independent Police Review Authority can restore the public&#39;s trust in law enforcement.</p><p>Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Monday her office is opening an investigation into racial disparities and the use of force by&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;police. The announcement followed the release of a video showing a white&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;officer fatally shooting a black teen 16 times, a video that sparked days of protests.</p></p> Tue, 08 Dec 2015 13:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/black-lawmakers-call-broader-federal-probe-114100 Chicago City Council approves Emanuel's 'challenging' budget http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-city-council-approves-emanuels-challenging-budget-113540 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_395280994494.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago aldermen have overwhelmingly approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s financially and politically costly 2016 budget plan.</p><p>While passage was expected, several aldermen had hinted they might buck the mayor and vote against his spending plan. The final vote count of 36 to 14, and other subsequent votes, show that Emanuel convinced most of the city council that a $534 million property tax hike was the only way the city could afford a state-mandated payment into its police and fire pension funds.</p><p>&ldquo;It is not final. We have more work ahead of us, but from 2011 are we closer to the other side of the shore of fixing our finances than before?&rdquo; Emanuel said. &ldquo;I can answer affirmatively...we are better.&rdquo;</p><p>Aldermen who spoke at Wednesday&rsquo;s meeting did not hold back on how difficult or challenging it was for them to approve the $7.8 billion dollar budget. Once the votes were tallied, aldermanic staffers tweeted or emailed statements from their bosses, reiterating how difficult this decision was for them.</p><p>New Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41), a former firefighter, said he&rsquo;d feel less pressure escaping a burning building than dealing with the budget process. Napolitano ended up voting against the budget, because he said too many of his constituents, even his neighbors who are police officers and firefighters, felt the tax burden was too great.</p><p>&ldquo;Hundreds of people would come into my office, call me or email me: &lsquo;Anthony, we realize this is our pension, but don&rsquo;t vote for it. This really hurts this neighborhood,&rsquo;&rdquo; he said.</p><p>But Ald. Pat O&rsquo;Connor (40), the mayor&rsquo;s floor leader, said there was no other option.</p><p>&ldquo;We all know the saying: The only two things that are certain is death and taxes,&rdquo; O&rsquo;Connor said. &ldquo;In this instance for Chicago, it is death or taxes. Because clearly our city will decay and will denigrate and our services will be severely hampered if we do not take the appropriate steps.&rdquo;</p><p>Beyond the property tax hike for police and fire pensions, aldermen also approved a $45 million annual property tax increase for school construction and modernization projections. &nbsp;E-cigarettes will also be taxed, and single family homes and smaller apartment buildings will have to kick in $9.50 a month for garbage pickup.. This was a big issue for many aldermen, including Ald. David Moore (17), who supported the mayor&rsquo;s spending package, but not his revenue plan.</p><p>&ldquo;I cannot in anyway support and go against my residents when they look at me and say don&rsquo;t you go down there and vote for that garbage fee,&rdquo; Moore said.</p><p>Aldermen also approved new rules for cab and ride-sharing companies. Under the newest agreement, cab drivers will have access to financial aid to make the process of getting a chauffeur&#39;s license less expensive, but they didn&rsquo;t win their biggest battle: keeping ride-sharing companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar out of the airport pickup line. Those companies will have to pay an additional $5 surcharge for every pick up or drop off at O&rsquo;Hare, Midway, McCormick Place or Navy Pier, and they&rsquo;ll also have to pay the city a 52 cent fee for every ride. On the cab side, fares will increase 15 percent and the city will also institute a per ride fee of 50 cents.</p><p>A few unknowns still remain in the budget. First, the $543 million property tax increase is based on the state lowering the mandated police and fire pension payments, but Gov. Bruce Rauner hasn&rsquo;t signed off on the bill. Second, the mayor has long promised that homes valued at $250,000 or less would be shielded from the property tax increase, but he needs Springfield for that too.</p><p>The mayor&rsquo;s office worked with aldermen like Michelle Smith (43) to come up with a potential plan B in the event that dead-locked Springfield doesn&rsquo;t come through. The resolution, which passed today, calls for the implementation of a city-administered rebate program for longtime homeowners.</p><p>By press time, responses from Wall Street were mixed. In a statement, Standard and Poor&rsquo;s officials said their ratings will stay the same, as they still &ldquo;consider the city&#39;s financial problems substantial, particularly because we anticipate that the city&#39;s required pension contributions will continue to increase and place pressure on the city&#39;s budget--one of the primary drivers of our rating.&rdquo; Moody&rsquo;s applauded the council&rsquo;s efforts in raising revenue for the unfunded pension liabilities, but joined S&amp;P in reiterating the point that the city isn&rsquo;t certain Springfield will come through.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian covers Chicago politics for WBEZ. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p></p> Wed, 28 Oct 2015 13:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-city-council-approves-emanuels-challenging-budget-113540 Chicago aldermen have few questions about police discipline http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-aldermen-have-few-questions-about-police-discipline-113168 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/flickrBartosz Brzezinski.jpg" alt="" /><p><div><p style="text-align: justify;">At a time when policing is of major public concern nationally, Chicago aldermen had just a smattering of questions for the head of the Chicago Police Board Friday.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Board President Lori Lightfoot appeared before the city council alongside Police Board Executive Director Max Caproni as part of the annual budget process.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The police board hands out discipline in the most serious cases of police misconduct.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Of 50 aldermen, fewer than 20 attended and only 5 had questions. The hearing was over in about 35 minutes.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">More aldermen showed up for the next hearing on animal care and control, where Ald. Margaret Laurino discussed citizens who feed wild animals. At the end of her&nbsp;questions&nbsp;she thanked the executive director of animal care and control.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;So once again I wanted to thank you for rescuing a deer in my block,&rdquo; said Laurino. &ldquo;Thank you. Not you per&hellip; you weren&rsquo;t personally, but I&rsquo;m sure you were personally involved somehow. Thank you.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Budget hearings for city departments continue next week.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div><em>Robert Wildeboer is a WBEZ criminal and legal affairs reporter. Follow him at&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/robertwildeboer">@robertwildeboer</a>.</em></div></div></p> Fri, 02 Oct 2015 16:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-aldermen-have-few-questions-about-police-discipline-113168 Emanuel pushes budget with 'political risk' http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-pushes-budget-political-risk-113034 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_471755110302_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel budget proposal leaves aldermen to consider if their constituents can afford a more expensive Chicago.</p><p>Emanuel sold his budget to aldermen Tuesday as &ldquo;tough,&rdquo; and a plan that carries &ldquo;political risk.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;But there is a choice to be made,&rdquo; Emanuel explained, &ldquo;either we muster the political courage to deal with this mounting challenge or we repeat the same practices and allow the financial challenges to grow,&rdquo; he said.</p><p dir="ltr">The 2016 budget proposal contains many of the details the mayor&rsquo;s office leaked out in the weeks leading up to the address: Nearly $600 million in property tax hikes for police and fire pensions and school construction, and a $9.50 monthly garbage collection fee for small apartment buildings and single family homes. It also contains $170 million in savings and efficiencies, like eliminating vacant city positions, according to estimates from the mayor&rsquo;s office. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">During his fifth budget address as mayor, Emanuel used familiar rhetoric to paint Chicago as a thriving, innovative city, whose bright future could be dimmed unless aldermen make some politically courageous decisions.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Now is the time, this is the council, let us commit to finishing the job,&rdquo; Emanuel said.</p><p dir="ltr">Without property tax revenue for police and fire pensions, Emanuel said the city would have to cut needed city services like recycling, and layoff thousands of police and firefighters.</p><p dir="ltr">But while some aldermen contend the budget shouldn&rsquo;t be described as an either or situation, many council members are still unsure as to if they&rsquo;ll support one, or all of, the mayor&rsquo;s budget proposals.</p><p dir="ltr">Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6) said he was on board with the mayor&rsquo;s plan to increase property taxes, adding that he had hoped the city would have increased them earlier, and incrementally.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I&rsquo;m confident that my constituents will understand, I mean [there&rsquo;s] a difference between understanding and being happy, they&rsquo;re not gonna be happy about it, but they will understand and acknowledge that we have to right a financial ship that&rsquo;s been going awry for many, many years now,&rdquo; Sawyer said.</p><p dir="ltr">But whether this vote would leave aldermen with a positive legacy in the history books, as Emanuel expressed, was up for debate.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s great rhetoric for him,&rdquo; said Ald. John Arena (45). &ldquo;But I guarantee if I were to vote for this, and in four years decide to run for mayor, then there would be mailers just like he threw at his challenger this time.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian covers Chicago politics for WBEZ. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p></p> Tue, 22 Sep 2015 20:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-pushes-budget-political-risk-113034 Emanuel calls for nearly $600 million property tax hike http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-calls-nearly-600-million-property-tax-hike-113019 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_471755110302_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will ask aldermen Tuesday to sign onto a nearly $600 million property tax hike.</p><p>Emanuel&rsquo;s office confirmed Monday that the mayor will propose a $544 million increase that would go toward the city&rsquo;s severely underfunded police and fire pension fund. That&rsquo;s on top of an additional $45 million property tax increase for school construction the mayor is asking the city council to support.</p><p>&ldquo;On so many fronts, Chicago has made great progress by challenging the status quote,&rdquo; Emanuel said in a statement. &ldquo;But as we continue to grow our economy, create jobs and attract families and business to Chicago, our fiscal challenges are blocking our path to even greater success.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Emanuel&rsquo;s solution to those challenges will include:</strong></p><p>&mdash;A phased-in property tax increase starting in 2015 and going through 2018. The mayor&rsquo;s office says these funds would only be used for police and fire pensions. Technically, homeowners would pay the first increase next summer, on the 2nd installment of their tax bill for 2015. Here&rsquo;s the breakdown of the proposed increases per tax year:</p><ul><li>2015&nbsp;&nbsp; $318 million</li><li>2016&nbsp;&nbsp; $109 million</li><li>2017&nbsp;&nbsp; $53 million</li><li>2018&nbsp;&nbsp; $63 million</li></ul><p>&mdash;An expanded homeowners&rsquo; exemption to ease the pain. The mayor has been working with the Democratic leadership in Springfield to expand the tax exemption, which would allow any resident with a home valued at $250,000 or less to be exempt from paying additional property taxes for police and fire pensions.</p><p>&mdash;The &ldquo;School Modernization Property Tax Levy&rdquo; being considered by the city council this week, which CPS has already voted to approve. The mayor&rsquo;s office says the additional $45 million would be used to help overcrowded schools, install air-conditioning in every classroom and other capital repairs.</p><p>&mdash;Taxing e-cigarettes: 25 cents per milliliter of e-liquid and $1.25 per container of e-liquid. A &ldquo;container&rdquo; includes single-use e-cigarettes, replacement cartridges or bottles of e-liquid. This is estimated to generate $1 million in revenue in 2016.</p><p>&mdash;A $9.50 monthly fee for garbage pickup, though seniors on a &ldquo;limited budget&rdquo; would be eligible for a 50 percent discount</p><p>&mdash;Allowing ride-sharing companies to pickup and drop off customers at both airports, Navy Pier and McCormick place, if they pay a $5 surcharge to the city. The mayor is also pitching an increase of &ldquo;per trip&rdquo; fees: rideshare trips will increase from 30 cents per trip to 50 cents, and a 50 cent fee will be added to taxi rides as well. That&rsquo;s estimated to bring in $60 million in 2016, $48 million more than in 2015.</p><p>&mdash;$170 million in savings and reforms, including eliminating 150 vacant positions and putting street sweeping on a grid system.</p><p><strong>In his budget address on Tuesday the mayor is also planning to propose:</strong></p><p>&mdash;Moving 319 police officers out of administrative positions and deployed to the streets.</p><p>&mdash;A $2 million investment over 4 years for new CPS based health clinics</p><p>&mdash;A $500 million investment to replace 90 miles of water lines, 72 miles of sewer lines and installing 14,000 sewer structures and 20,000 water meters</p><p>&mdash;A 15 percent increase on cab fares.<br /><em>Lauren Chooljian covers Chicago politics for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p></p> Mon, 21 Sep 2015 18:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-calls-nearly-600-million-property-tax-hike-113019 Advocates say new food cart rules taste bittersweet http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/advocates-say-new-food-cart-rules-taste-bittersweet-112955 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Fruit cup 3.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-114682cd-d82b-5f16-81bf-bc8775e48e21">This week, Chicago Alderman Emma Mitts did something she&rsquo;d never done before: She ate her first elote, the grilled corn on the cob that&rsquo;s a popular street food in Mexico.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;A little hot, but it was good, and I see why the kids like it,&rdquo; she said at a City Council hearing Wednesday.</p><p dir="ltr">But that bite of corn on the street wasn&rsquo;t just tasty &mdash; it was also illegal.</p><p dir="ltr">According to advocates, there are nearly 2,000 vendors pushing carts of fresh fruit, elotes and other snacks around Chicago, despite laws forbidding it. But Wednesday, a City Council committee passed an ordinance that&rsquo;s long been in the works to not only license these vendors, but to punish those who operate illegally.</p><p dir="ltr">Sponsoring Alderman Roberto Maldonado (a self-proclaimed fan of elotes) called the License and Consumer Protection Committee&#39;s support for his ordinance &ldquo;historic.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;At a time when the national debate has turned toward demeaning our immigrant population, we must strengthen our laws to bring our immigrant entrepreneurs out of the shadows and give them the respect and legitimacy they deserve,&rdquo; Maldonado said.</p><p dir="ltr">The <a href="https://chicago.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&amp;ID=3755517&amp;GUID=AEE49835-4E57-409A-81D2-80965444258D">ordinance</a> would legitimize most of what push cart vendors do already. It would allow them to sell fresh fruit or food on carts around the city&rsquo;s neighborhoods, as long as they take classes, get permits and pay fees: $350 for a business license and more than $300 in shared kitchen fees over two years.</p><p dir="ltr">But what bothers advocates most is the provision that forbids vendors from preparing food on the cart, meaning all food would have to be cooked, cut, seasoned, packaged and sealed before vendors leave licensed kitchens.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think we&rsquo;ve reached a great compromise. Like always no ordinance is [ever] perfect but it&rsquo;s a work in progress, something that we&rsquo;re all willing to start with,&rdquo; Maldonado said.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">The prepackaged and pre-seasoned provision comes as a response to concerns from the Chicago Department of Public Health. Although the department acknowledges there has never been a single reported incident of foodborne illness connected to the food carts, it insists that on-cart prep is dangerous.</p><p dir="ltr">The agency is &ldquo;committed to ensuring the food Chicagoans eat is safe&hellip;[Because] food carts are not required to have hand washing capabilities on them. Having food that is not prepackaged would be unsanitary and unsafe,&rdquo; the department said in a statement.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, for many, the fresh preparation and customization of condiments (chile, salt, lime, cheese) are part of the appeal.</p><p dir="ltr">Vicky Lugo, who serves as the vice president of the Association of Mobile Vendors, knows the rules are less than ideal.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I am not in favor of this product being pre-cut because products that are pre-cut and sold in stores are not fresh,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;But right now [vendors] will take whatever the city will approve because as it is now there is no license for them.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The plan, says Lugo and others, is to start here and then move toward fresher options later.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We are trying to push for a last prep step where vendors could possibly cut the fruit at the cart and for the corn add the mayo and cheese and that stuff,&rdquo; she said.</p><p dir="ltr">Beth Kregor of the Institute for Justice on Entrepreneurship has been working on this issue for years. She notes that the licensing rules, if passed by the full council, could apply to all sorts of foods.</p><p dir="ltr">Vendors would be allowed to sell pretty much anything they, or others, prepared &mdash; as long as they were packaged in a licensed kitchen. During the hearings she spoke eloquently about the measure&rsquo;s potential.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We should pass this ordinance because those vendors will be the next immigrant who earns her way in this country,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo; The next business owners serving up culture, cuisine and commerce in our community spaces, one customer at a time. And the next parent who built a better life for his child by working hard and following the rules.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">A <a href="https://www.illinoispolicy.org/reports/chicagos-food-cart-ban-costs-revenue-jobs/">recent survey by the Illinois Policy Institute</a> estimated that the 1,500 food-cart vendors in Chicago make an estimated $35.2 million in annual sales.</p><p>The ordinance still needs the full city council&rsquo;s approval, which is scheduled to meet next Thursday. The law would then take effect 30 days after passage.</p><p><br /><em>Monica Eng covers food and health for WBEZ. Follow her at <a href="http://twitter.com/monicaeng">@monicaeng.</a> Lauren Chooljian covers Chicago politics for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian.</a></em></p></p> Wed, 16 Sep 2015 16:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/advocates-say-new-food-cart-rules-taste-bittersweet-112955 Chicago moves closer to borrowing $1.1 billion http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-moves-closer-borrowing-11-billion-112195 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/rahmfile.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">The cash-strapped city of Chicago is one step closer to borrowing $1.1 billion in general obligation bonds, in an attempt to shore up the city&rsquo;s finances. The complex borrowing package, backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, passed through the city&rsquo;s Finance Committee Monday.</p><p dir="ltr">Pitched as a way to &ldquo;clean up&rdquo; the city&rsquo;s balance sheet and move away from unsustainable financial practices of the past, the bonds would convert some of the city&rsquo;s short-term debt into longer-term, fixed-rate debt, pay down city settlements, and refinance old terminated interest rate &ldquo;swaps,&rdquo; &nbsp;among other things.</p><p dir="ltr">The city&rsquo;s new Chief Financial Officer&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/press_room/press_releases/2015/may/mayor-rahm-emanuel-names-carole-l--brown-as-city-of-chicago-chie.html">Carole Brown</a> told aldermen Monday that it would be &ldquo;irresponsible&rdquo; for the city not to sign off on this borrowing plan.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;This is not kicking the can, this is not shuffling the deck chairs, this is a real step toward doing what I think all of you are committed to doing, and that you want to see us do, which is return to a state of more fiscal stability,&rdquo; Brown said. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">According to Brown, the borrowing package is both part of the financial plan Emanuel pitched last spring, and a reaction to the recent credit rating downgrade by Moody&rsquo;s. Brown said the city is &ldquo;technically in default&rdquo; and &ldquo;there would be the potential that we would have to come up with close to $900 million to pay back the banks if we did not execute this transaction.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The city&rsquo;s plan for the $1.1 billion includes:</p><ul><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">$170 million for the first two years of interest</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">$151 million will be used to convert variable rate general obligation bonds into fixed rate bonds</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">$192 million will be spent to end &ldquo;swaps&rdquo;</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">$35 million will be used for the 2015 loan payment for the old Michael Reese hospital site</p></li></ul><p dir="ltr">Many aldermen were skeptical of the plan. Some voiced concern that there weren&rsquo;t enough diverse banks or firms involved in the deal. Others, like Ald. John Arena (45) were concerned that the city hasn&rsquo;t put forth any new revenue ideas.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We get fines here and fees here, we know it&rsquo;s not enough. Everybody knows it&rsquo;s not enough but ignores this issue. And when we have 1.1 billion dollars put in front of us, and say &lsquo;approve this&rsquo; without at least a look at a plan for revenue at this point...this is irresponsible,&rdquo; Arena said.</p><p dir="ltr">The lone no vote was cast by progressive Ald. Scott Waguespack. The full City Council is scheduled to vote on the package Wednesday.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s city politics reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p></p> Tue, 16 Jun 2015 00:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-moves-closer-borrowing-11-billion-112195 Emanuel calls on Chicagoans to prevent 'lost generation' http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-calls-chicagoans-prevent-lost-generation-112047 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/rahm.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Over the last week, Chicago&rsquo;s debt was dinged by three major credit agencies. And while the city&rsquo;s pension and financial crises loom large, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel chose instead to kick off his second term with a speech that encourages Chicagoans to take action to prevent another &ldquo;lost generation&rdquo; of the city&rsquo;s disadvantaged youth.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s time to stop turning our heads and turning the channel,&rdquo; Emanuel said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s time for each of us to start breaking down those walls. We can&rsquo;t abandon the most vulnerable children to the gang and the gun. They have the potential and desire to be so much more.&rdquo;</p><p>Emanuel spoke at the Chicago Theatre, a change in venue from the previous inaugural festivities at Millennium Park. The city&rsquo;s 50 aldermen, Treasurer Kurt Summers and Clerk Susana Mendoza were also sworn in Monday.</p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s newest crop of politicians shared the stage with many familiar dignitaries like former Mayor Richard M. Daley and former President Bill Clinton, who received the most enthusiastic welcome from the audience; even more so than the mayor himself. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was not in attendance, though Mayor Emanuel attended his inauguration earlier this year.</p><p>Emanuel only briefly mentioned the city&rsquo;s fiscal woes during his remarks, calling the pressing pension and financial issues &ldquo;not of our making&rdquo; while his predecessor, Mayor Daley, sat just a few seats down from him on the stage.</p><p>&ldquo;Even in a time of fiscal challenges, we all need to do more for our young people who are economically and spiritually hungry,&rdquo; he explained. &ldquo;And we must come to realize that this is not just a problem for certain communities. Anything that stunts the hope and the expectations and the opportunities for thousands of young Chicagoans undermines Chicago&rsquo;s future. &rdquo; Emanuel said.&nbsp;</p><p>The mayor went on to say that government programs are a helpful resource toward this end, but they&rsquo;re not set up to provide &ldquo;a moral compass.&rdquo; He called on Chicago residents to become role models for young people, asking all to share the &ldquo;values that made you who you are.&rdquo;</p><p>Many in the audience, including progressive aldermen who are expected to be the mayor&rsquo;s largest critics this term, were pleased with the route the mayor chose for his speech.</p><p>A new member to the council and progressive caucus, David Moore (17), said it&rsquo;s not that the mayor doesn&rsquo;t care about pensions, but that Emanuel realizes &ldquo;our youth is our most important asset.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;If our youth are in trouble, then whether the pension crisis is solved or what, then Chicago is in trouble,&rdquo; Moore said.</p><p>Northside Alderman Joe Moore (49) said while it&rsquo;s true &ldquo;everyone&rdquo; was expecting to hear more about the city&rsquo;s finances, &ldquo;one issue is not necessarily to the exclusion of others.&rdquo;</p><p>Plus, he added: &ldquo;Trust me, we&rsquo;re gonna spend all summer hearing a lot about finances and a lot about how serious our fiscal crisis is.&rdquo;</p><p>The new city council will meet for the first time on Wednesday.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ city politics reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian" target="_blank">@laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 18 May 2015 15:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-calls-chicagoans-prevent-lost-generation-112047 Morning Shift: What’s ahead for Mayor’s second term? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-05-18/morning-shift-what%E2%80%99s-ahead-mayor%E2%80%99s-second-term-112044 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Photography%20by%20Brian%20Lauer.jpg" style="height: 398px; width: 600px;" title="Flickr/Photography by Brian Lauer" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206056565&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Inauguration check-in</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Thirteen new aldermen will be sworn in Monday along with Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. We check in with WBEZ&#39;s city politics reporter Lauren Chooljian just before 2015 Inauguration begins.</p><p><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">Lauren Chooljian</a> is WBEZ&#39;s city politics reporter.&nbsp;</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206056553&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">What&#39;s ahead for Mayor&#39;s second term?</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is sworn into his second term Monday and there&rsquo;s no doubt he faces some big challenges: fiscal disarray, unhappy teachers, under-served neighborhoods demanding more attention and crime. How much can Chicagoans expect to the mayor to get done in the next fours years? What needs the most attention? And will he persuade Springfield and the governor to give Chicago a city owned casino. We get analysis on the Morning Shift.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/laurence-msall">Laurence Msall</a> is the <a href="https://twitter.com/civicfederation">Civic Federation</a>&#39;s President.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em><a href="http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/robert-t-starks-41">Robert Starks</a> is a Professor of political science at Northeastern Illinois University.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206056549&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Inauguration preview: All about City Council</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be sworn in today. And, City Council will too. Including the freshmen alderman. WBEZ&rsquo;s <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">Lauren Chooljian</a> introduces the new city representatives and the issues they&rsquo;ll face this term. Have a look at the city&#39;s new council members <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/inauguration-day-new-city-council-faces-serious-financial-problems-112042">here.</a></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206056548&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Chicago sports update</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The Blackhawks looked great for the first 40 minutes of game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, before succumbing to a big, methodical Ducks team. In baseball the Sox pull of a sweep, the Cubs almost do a double sweep, and the soap opera surrounding the Bulls and Tom Thibodeau continues. WBEZ&rsquo;s sports contributor Cheryl Raye Stout brings us all the weekend action.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">Cheryl Raye Stout</a> is a WBEZ sports contributor.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/206069665&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Run Boy Run</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Existing in the tension between tradition and frontier, Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest winner and Prairie Home Companion guest, <a href="http://www.runboyrunband.com/">Run Boy Run</a>, truly exceeds the sum of its parts as touches of classical, jazz, and folk express themselves through the old-time core of the band&rsquo;s unique sound. The five piece band decided to stick around for an extra day after their Evanston performance Sunday night and play for the Morning Shift.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/RunBoyRunBand">Run Boy Run</a> is an Arizona-based band.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Mon, 18 May 2015 08:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-05-18/morning-shift-what%E2%80%99s-ahead-mayor%E2%80%99s-second-term-112044 Morning Shift: Out with the old and in with the new at City Council http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-05-04/morning-shift-out-old-and-new-city-council-111980 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/danxoneil1.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Flickr/danxoneil" /></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203871945&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Adolfo Davis update</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Last month we brought you the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/locked-14-adolfo-davis-gets-chance-new-sentence-111863">story of Adolfo Davis</a>. He&rsquo;s a Cook County man who got a life sentence with no chance for parole when he was a teenager and he&rsquo;s been locked up for 24 years. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that mandatory life without parole for kids is unconstitutional, which makes Davis, and some 80 others in Illinois, eligible for a hearing on a new sentence. Davis was in court last month for his hearing - the first of its kind in Cook County. Monday, the judge who heard 11 hours of testimony last month will tell Davis her decision. He could be freed on time served, or still have life without parole, or something in between. Reporter Linda Paul&rsquo;s been following Davis&rsquo; story for years and she joins us from the criminal courts building.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://lspaul13.wordpress.com/about/">Linda Paul </a>is a WBEZ contributor.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203871939&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Playoffs continue for Bulls/Hawks</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Looks like spring has sprung, as warmer weather is finally here. But all eyes are still on the boys of fall and winter as the Bulls and the Blackhawks continue their playoff runs. We get the latest from WBEZ&rsquo;s sports contributor Cheryl Raye Stout.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">Cheryl Raye Stout</a> is WBEZ&#39;s sports contributor.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203871937&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Out with the old, in with the new at City Council</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The beginning of May here in Chicago means the end of the current class of city aldermen. Chicagoans voted in 13 new freshman aldermen for the 2015 through 2019 term - and they&rsquo;ll join the ranks with a big group of more familiar faces. WBEZ Politics reporter Lauren Chooljian talks about what&rsquo;s left for the current group to tackle - and what the new group looks like.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">Lauren Chooljian</a> is WBEZ&#39;s city politics reporter.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203871934&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Chicago&#39;s history of riots</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Almost a week after it was put in place, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on Sunday lifted the city&rsquo;s mandatory 10 p.m. curfew. The curfew was put in place when the city came to a breaking point as protesters took to the streets to call attention to the death of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody. During the unrest, buildings were burned and looted. It was a similar scene to what ensued in Ferguson, Missouri, after the police shooting of Michael Brown. In both these cities, media and political leaders called them riots. But what constitutes a riot and when do we use that term? We discuss that and take a look back at the history of riots in Chicago and how those events shaped the city with WBEZ&rsquo;s South Side reporter Natalie Moore.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/natalieymoore">Natalie Moore</a> is WBEZ&#39;s SouthSide bureau reporter.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/203871930&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Melancholy Play: A Chamber Musical</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Playwright Sarah Ruhl&rsquo;s work has explored everything from life to death, love to language, religion to sexuality. But her plays have one thing in common: the characters speak. Now, for the first time, her characters will sing. The suburban Chicago native returned to her 2002 work Melancholy Play, teamed up with composer Todd Almond, and has come back to the&nbsp;<a href="http://piventheatre.org/2015-season/">Piven Theater</a>- where the play premiered-to bring audiences Melancholy Play: a chamber musical. We talk to Ruhl about the show, and we&rsquo;re joined by the cast who perform a few numbers.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="http://www.sarahruhlplaywright.com/">Sarah Ruhl </a>is a playwright. </em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><a href="http://stephaniestockstill.weebly.com/"><em>S</em></a><em><a href="http://stephaniestockstill.weebly.com/">tephanie Stockstill</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/cballou">Chris Ballou</a>, <a href="https://about.me/ryanlanning">Ryan Lanning</a>, <a href="http://www.laurenparis.net/">Lauren Paris</a>, and <a href="http://www.abouttheartists.com/artists/427711-emily-grayson">Emily Grayson</a> are actos. </em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pub/polly-noonan/6/a15/423?trk=pub-pbmap">Polly Noonan</a> is the play&#39;s director.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 04 May 2015 07:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-05-04/morning-shift-out-old-and-new-city-council-111980