Your NPR news source
Anthony Beale speaking during council meeting

Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th Ward, speaks during a Chicago City Council Rules Committee hearing at City Hall on Nov. 7, 2023.

Ashlee Rezin

The Rundown: Shouts, boos at City Council migrant debate

Good afternoon! WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times is now an official charity with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. You can sign up for a guaranteed entree to help support the work we do. Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. Shouts and boos from the crowd at City Hall during a heated migrant debate

Security escorted several people out of City Hall today after shouting and booing erupted during a meeting about adding a non-binding referendum to the March ballot to ask voters if Chicago should remain a sanctuary city, my colleagues Fran Spielman and Mitchell Armentrout report for the Sun-Times.

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s allies tried to pass a softened version of the referendum that would have read: “Should the city of Chicago impose reasonable limits on the city’s providing resources for migrant sheltering, such as funding caps and shelter occupancy time limits, if necessary to prevent a substantial negative impact on Chicago’s current residents?”

The meeting was recessed until Nov. 16 — a day after the City Council is scheduled to take a final vote on the mayor’s $16.6 billion budget.

Meanwhile, the City Council voted to accept donated land at 115th and Halsted streets that could become a winterized camp for asylum-seekers. [Chicago Sun-Times]

The council also approved the binding Bring Chicago Home referendum that will ask voters to consider whether the city should increase the real estate transfer tax on properties over $1 million to fund homeless prevention. [WBEZ]

2. A program to help migrants apply for work permits begins this week in Chicago

The joint effort of the White House, Illinois, City Hall and others launches Thursday and hopes to initially assist 150 migrants per day, my colleague Lynnn Sweet writes for the Chicago Sun-Times.

“The pilot program addresses the crucial reality that more has to be done in Chicago to get migrants to submit applications for work permits, with getting fingerprinted and photographed part of that process,” Sweet writes.

City and state employees will help screen migrants to determine who is eligible for the program. Later, those selected will receive transportation to a clinic where they can apply for employment authorization. The site will be staffed with legal aid service providers, pro bono attorneys and bilingual personnel.

A similar program already exists in New York, and another is set to open in the Boston area. [Chicago Sun-Times]

3. A display about the history of public corruption in Chicago will be temporarily covered at the request of Ed Burke’s lawyer

Attorney Chris Gair asked U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall to cover or take down the display at the Dirksen Courthouse out of concern it could influence potential jurors.

The jury pool has been gathering in the ceremonial courtroom across the hall from the display since jury selection began yesterday. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Jurors have been asked about everything from their outlook on the role of government to what television shows they watch. [Chicago Sun-Times/WBEZ]

Meanwhile, some residents in the 14th Ward that Burke used to represent said they aren’t optimistic the trial will end corruption in Chicago politics. [WBEZ/Chicago Sun-Times]

4. Here are the races to watch in elections across the country

Elections tonight in several states could provide a snapshot of how abortion rights are influencing U.S. politics, The Associated Press reports.

“Ohio voters will decide on a constitutional amendment supported by abortion rights groups and both Democrats and Republicans have campaigned for control of Virginia’s legislature by arguing the other party is wrong on abortion,” the AP reports.

Another notable contest is the Mississippi governor’s race where Democrat Brandon Presley, a cousin of musician Elvis Presley, is challenging incumbent Republican Gov. Tate Reeves.

And a Pennsylvania Supreme Court seat could play a big role in voting-related cases during next year’s presidential election. [AP]

5. Jeff Tweedy’s new book is a soundtrack through childhood, sobriety and stardom

If there’s anyone who can get a crowd teary-eyed at one moment then belly laughing the next, it’s Chicago’s Jeff Tweedy, frontman of the Grammy Award-winning rock band Wilco, Mendy Kong writes for WBEZ.

World Within a Song is a collection of 50 songs that have personal meaning to the Wilco frontman, who kicked off his book tour at a recent WBEZ event.

Tweedy also talked about his early days sorting through his brother’s record crates, how addiction and sobriety affects his songwriting and his greatest influences along his path as a musician. [WBEZ]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Chicago faith leaders are grappling with their response to the Israel-Hamas war. [WBEZ]

  • A murder and racketeering trial started today for the six men accused in the killing of rapper FBG Duck in Chicago. [Chicago Sun-Times]

  • The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case about a gun law that protects domestic violence victims. [AP]

  • The office-sharing startup tech company WeWork filed for bankruptcy. [NPR]

Oh, and one more thing …

A parakeet that lived at Hollywood Beach in Edgewater all summer is now up for adoption, Block Club Chicago reports.

The parakeet, known as George Hollywood, copied other birds’ behavior to survive and evaded capture by Chicagoland Exotic Animal Rescue volunteers for months.

He developed a following as rescue volunteers, lakefront birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts monitored him. [Block Club Chicago]

Tell me something good ...

What are your favorite cold-weather pastimes?

Mark says:

“Cold weather and COVID pastime - jigsaw puzzles. Calming with a nice sense of accomplishment at the end.”

Send us an email and your response might be included in the newsletter this week.

The Latest
Plus, Chicago actors star in the “Lord of the Rings” musical. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, Sueños Music Festival organizers agreed to a five-year deal with the Chicago Park District. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, astronomers spotted a black hole nestled in a cluster of stars. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, Windy City Smokeout returns this weekend. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, Pizza Hut sells tavern-style pies now. Here’s what you need to know today.