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CPD officer holds up yellow tape at crime scene

A Chicago Police Officer holds crime scene tape up as a vehicle backs out of a crime scene where a 28-year-old man was shot in the 3600 block of West Lexington Avenue in the Homan Square neighborhood on April 19, 2023.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere

The Rundown: Anti-violence workers prepare for the weekend

Good afternoon! My husband is out of town, and that means I’m going to have a crazy time watching Love is Blind on the big TV and falling asleep at 9 p.m. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. A special team of ‘Peacekeepers’ will patrol Chicago this weekend

Memorial Day weekend is usually one of the most violent weekends in Chicago.

This year, a special team of 30 “Peacekeepers” will be mobilized to help deescalate conflicts, reports my colleague Frank Main.

This “crisis prevention and response unit” is part of an anti-violence strategy that has hired and trained more than 500 people as Peacekeepers. They have an ambitious goal: having no victims of gun violence in the vast majority of 102 designated “hot spots” for every three months.

And they might be making a difference.

During the first few months of the program, 90 of the 102 hot spots had zero shootings, according to a study by the Center for Neighborhood Engaged Research & Science, which cautions its findings are preliminary and “in no way represent a causal relationship” between the Peacekeepers and violence reduction.

In addition to the Peacekeepers, hundreds of outreach workers from other anti-violence groups are also expected to be on Chicago’s streets this weekend. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Meanwhile, authorities are recovering more carjacked vehicles in Chicago, shedding light on who is doing the carjacking and why. [WBEZ]

2. Tensions erupt over City Hall’s plan to house migrants at Wilbur Wright College

Northwest Side residents were split during an often-tense community meeting last night, with city officials being met with cheers and boos as they discussed plans to house up to 400 asylum-seekers at the college’s gymnasium, reports my colleague Emmanuel Camarillo.

Officials said creating a temporary shelter at Wright College would relieve pressure at police stations, where migrant families have been sleeping and eating on floors.

Only families would be housed at the college, officials said, and the earliest move-in date for them would be Saturday. They would remain on campus until Aug. 1.

Nearly 10,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago from U.S. border states since August, putting enormous pressure on city officials and migrant advocates to provide shelter and other essential services.

At stake is not only the wellbeing of the new arrivals but Chicago’s image as a welcoming city, some advocates say. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Meanwhile, Cook County’s health care system faces an influx of migrants while preparing for a wave of low-income patients who will lose Medicaid health insurance. [WBEZ]

3. Mayor Johnson wins his first political test with the City Council

In a 41 to 9 vote, Mayor Brandon Johnson easily won support to reshape the City Council, placing his progressive allies in key positions to help advance his agenda, reports my colleague Fran Spielman.

But let’s back up a little for some context that helps explain why this news is noteworthy. The City Council has the authority to create committees and assign people to said committees. But council members have long given up that power to whoever is mayor.

Allies to former Mayor Lori Lightfoot attempted to declare their independence in a plan that also meant they would retain their leadership roles on powerful committees.

But at the end of the day, Johnson won this early test of his legislative muscle.

That means Ald. Pat Dowell, whose endorsement of Johnson was a turning point in the mayoral race, will now head the influential Finance Committee. And all five members of the council’s Democratic Socialists Caucus were rewarded with committee chairmanships. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Meanwhile, council members replaced their formal title of “alderman” with the gender neutral “alderperson.” [WBEZ]

4. The Field Museum will unveil a new dinosaur next month

The museum is bringing in “a dino river monster that’s bigger and badder” than the beloved T. rex superstar Sue, reports my colleague Stefano Esposito.

The new addition is a cast of a Spinosaurus, which is 46 feet long — 4 feet longer than Sue — with a crocodile-like snout and a paddle-like tail.

“These features helped make Spinosaurus a fearsome semi-aquatic predator in the rivers of northern Africa, where it roamed 95 million years ago,” the museum said in a statement.

The Field Museum plans to unveil the new dinosaur on June 3 in Stanley Field Hall, making it the only museum in the Western Hemisphere to see the world’s “largest predatory dinosaur.”

In celebration of the Spinosaurus, the museum plans to host “Dino Fest” on June 10, with trivia games, a book fair and presentations from the Field’s dinosaur curator Jingmai O’Connor and paleo-artist Ted Rechlin. [Chicago Sun-Times]

5. Netflix begins cracking down on password sharing in the U.S.

Starting now, anyone who shares their login with someone who lives at a different address will have to pay an extra $7.99 or boot the extra users.

As you can probably guess, people are not thrilled about the change.

“Between Netflix cracking down on password sharing and Max locking you out of your HBO Max account, what an incredible day for the limitless possibilities of streaming!” one user tweeted.

Netflix says around 100 million households share passwords. The streaming service had 232.5 million subscribers as of last month, NPR reports.

People borrowing the login from family or friends can start their own account and transfer their profile, so they won’t forget which episode of Beef they’re on. [NPR]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Debt ceiling talks aren’t going well. Here’s where negotiations stand. [NPR]
  • Target becomes the latest company to face a backlash over its support for the LGBTQ+ community. [AP]
  • Former Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s security detail was dramatically reduced. [Chicago Sun-Times]
  • Music legend Tina Turner died at 83. [NBC News]

Oh, and one more thing …

Pedro Pascal says he’s having fun being “the internet’s daddy.”

The actor took part in a roundtable discussion that’s up today on The Hollywood Reporter’s website.

“[The daddy thing] seems a little role-related,” Pascal said. “There was a period where the Mandalorian is very daddy to baby Grogu, and Joel is very daddy to Ellie [in HBO’s The Last of Us].”

There’s also a hilarious exchange between Pascal and Succession star Kieran Culkin. [Hollywood Reporter]

Tell me something good ...

With HBO’s Succession coming to an end on Sunday, I’d like to know: What TV show did you enjoy right up until the finale? (Please avoid spoilers.)

Katie Laugel writes with one of the more popular shows from readers:

“I loved The Americans because the finale was true to the show and didn’t have a happy ending. It was a great send off and fit the character arc.”

Vivian Quam writes:

“I really enjoyed The Americans right up to the finale. That show was really well-written and acted. I did a study abroad in St. Petersburg (which was then Leningrad) in the fall of 1985, so watching the fictional Soviet spies had me reminiscing about those days.”

And Dori DesRoches writes:

“A TV series that I enjoyed right through to the end: The Expanse, a terrific adaptation of an exceptional book series. Although they cut some material, changed some things and rearranged some others — don’t they always? — overall the show rendered the story and the characters very well. Amos and Avasarala, in particular, have become iconic references in my social cluster. Can’t recommend this too strongly.”

Feel free to email me, and your response might be included in the newsletter this week.

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