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Chicago Teachers Strike

Chicago teachers and their supports hold picket signs as union officials and city negotiators try finding an agreement to end the strike.

Manuel Martinez

Newsletter: Chicago Teachers Union To Discuss Future Of Strike

Good afternoon! It’s Tuesday, and it’s becoming more likely that it’ll snow on Halloween. Here’s what you need to know today. (PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)

1. Chicago Teachers Union calls meeting to discuss strike

The union’s governing body, called the House of Delegates, will meet at 6 p.m. today to either call a vote on a tentative agreement, which could end the strike, or give an update on negotiations, reports WBEZ’s Sarah Karp.

Earlier today, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the union “continues to move the goalposts and bring in more issues that do not belong in any collective bargaining contract.”

Lightfoot said the union wants her to support a bill creating an elected school board, but the mayor has opposed that particular bill, saying it would create a board that’s too large. Lightfoot also said the union wants her to support changes to a state law that limits what issues the union can strike over.

Another issue that’s hit a wall is prep time. The union has demanded 30 minutes of prep time a day for elementary school teachers, but Chicago Public School officials said it would cut into student instructional time. The union says that doesn’t have to be the case. [WBEZ]

Check out WBEZ’s live blog for the latest updates in contract negotiations. [WBEZ]

Meanwhile, as the strike continues, the stakes are getting higher for students and teachers. More college entrance exams will be canceled, and teachers could lose their health insurance. [Chicago Tribune]

2. A White House official worried Trump’s Ukraine demands would “undermine all U.S. national security”

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a veteran of the Iraq War, told House investigators today that he repeatedly raised concerns about President Donald Trump’s pressure tactics on Ukraine.

Vindman listened in on Trump’s July 25 call to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Vindman said he worried Ukraine would lose bipartisan support from the U.S. if it opened an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. [NPR]

You can read Vindman’s opening statement here. [NPR]

Who is Vindman? The decorated lieutenant colonel is the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council. His family fled Ukraine when he was 3 years old. [New York Times]

Meanwhile, a resolution to formalize the procedures in the impeachment inquiry was released today. It calls for public hearings and would give Republicans a pathway to issue subpoenas. The House will vote on the resolution tomorrow. [NPR]

3. Fallout grows over Illinois lawmaker’s arrest

After federal authorities brought corruption charges against Illinois state Rep. Luis Arroyo, the embattled lawmaker now faces calls for his resignation.

Powerful House Speaker Michael Madigan said in a statement this week that Arroyo should step down immediately or face “steps to begin the process to remove him from office.”

Arroyo’s dual roles as a state legislator and a lobbyist are at the center of the federal corruption case against him. Here’s a fascinating explainer on Arroyo’s political career and his legal troubles that includes a ton of great quotes. [WBEZ]

4. Obama and Lightfoot talked about presidential center

Former President Barack Obama is in town, and he talked to Mayor Lori Lightfoot yesterday about his presidential center in Jackson Park, reports the Chicago Tribune. Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama are in town this week for the annual Obama Foundation Summit.

The summit comes as a group of South Side residents are pushing for a community benefits agreement, which would guarantee affordable housing and jobs for folks who live near the presidential center. Obama is against signing an agreement because he believes the center will jump-start the area’s economy without one. Lightfoot has not said whether she supports such a deal. [Chicago Tribune]

From the WBEZ vault, here’s a look at why some local residents want a community benefits agreement. [WBEZ]

5. What happened when factories closed in Chicago

Manufacturing was once the bedrock of Chicago’s economy, especially on the city’s West Side.

“You could quit a job on this side of the street and go across the street and get hired,” one resident remembers. But the factories left, and while the sector’s decline hit nearly all of Chicago, the city’s black communities suffered the worst blow. [WBEZ]

Meanwhile, factories need workers, and Chicago has plenty of folks looking for jobs. So why the mismatch? [WBEZ]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Boeing’s CEO told Congress that his company made mistakes with the 737 Max jet that was involved in two fatal crashes. [CNN]
  • Chicago-based Grubhub is struggling to compete against other online food-ordering services. [Chicago Tribune]
  • The head of Cook County Health urged other hospitals to treat uninsured patients. [WBEZ]
  • Here’s an annual reminder to not wear a racist costume for Halloween. [NPR]

Oh, and one more thing …

Beware, readers, because here is a chilling tale of … haunted eBay!

OK, it probably doesn’t sound like the most exciting scary story, but there are a ton of items being sold on eBay that are allegedly cursed by evil spirits. The items range from creepy dolls to plain old cardboard boxes.

But before you start getting ideas about this year’s secret Santa at the office, there’s apparently a market for some of this stuff. A “haunted” teddy bear sold for $560 after racking up 46 bids. [New York Times]

Tell me something good ...

Last week’s question got a lot of responses, so let’s continue the fun. What’s your favorite Halloween memory?

Evelyn A. Voxley tweets:

“My favorite Halloween memory is auditory: my mom curated a pretty awesome Halloween playlist when I was little, and to this day Shriekback’s ‘Nemesis’ immediately makes it feel like Halloween.”

What’s your favorite Halloween memory? Feel free to email at or tweet me at @whuntah.

Have a nice night! I’ll see you tomorrow. And if you like what you just read, you can subscribe to the newsletter here and have it delivered to your inbox.

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