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The Rundown: A new day for the state’s attorney’s office?

Good afternoon! This week’s weather forecast is all over the place. Rain and snow on Wednesday? No thanks. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. O’Neill Burke says it’s wrong to paint her as the tough-on-crime candidate

Taking a victory lap after winning the Democratic primary for Cook County state’s attorney, former appellate Justice Eileen O’Neill Burke today pushed back on the “unfair” suggestion she will be “very hard on crime,” my colleague David Struett reports.

“I want to be effective. That doesn’t mean we’re going to lock everybody up,” O’Neill Burke said.

O’Neill Burke has said she supports expanding restorative justice alternatives to prosecution and praised outgoing State’s Attorney Kim Foxx on her office’s review of alleged wrongful convictions.

But one of the biggest differences between Foxx and O’Neill Burke is when to charge retail theft as a felony. O’Neill Burke supports doing so for amounts over $300, as opposed to Foxx’s policy of a $1,000 threshold.

O’Neill Burke has also said she will seek to hold more people in custody under the SAFE-T Act, which eliminated cash bail in Illinois last year.

O’Neill Burke now faces Republican Bob Fioretti and Libertarian Andrew Charles Kopinski in the November general election, which Democrats are widely favored to win. [Chicago Sun-Times]

2. More than 5,000 trucks and buses go through one Chicago neighborhood in a single day

Archer Heights, a mostly Latino community on the Southwest Side, recorded 5,159 trucks and buses in a day, the most of any Chicago neighborhood, according to a new report from two nonprofit organizations pushing for more electric trucks.

It’s widely known that air pollution from trucks disproportionately impacts Black and brown communities living near Chicago’s industrial corridor.

But today’s report aims to provide more context by using 35 sensors to count trucks moving through part of Cicero and 17 Chicago neighborhoods, from Hegewisch to Albany Park, my colleague Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco reports.

“Having these numbers, it’s really crucial to then advocate for more electric vehicles,” said Paulina Vaca with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, one of the groups behind the report.

A recent study from Northwestern University found more than 1,000 lives and over $10 billion could be saved annually if about 30% of all light and heavy-duty vehicles in the Chicago region were electric. [WBEZ]

3. Migrants have begun moving out of Chicago Park District shelters

More than 730 asylum-seekers are expected to be moved from five park facilities to other nearby shelters as the number of migrants arriving in Chicago has decreased, my colleague Violet Miller reports.

Among the migrants affected is Omar Torres, who was staying at the Broadway Armory Park Fieldhouse with his family.

Torres said the only reason he and his family are still relying on city shelters is because he hasn’t received federal authorization to work — a process that can drag on for months.

“We need a work permit for everyone to be able to become independent from the shelters,” Torres said through a translator. “We are all in the shelters because we do not have a work permit to be able to depend on ourselves.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

4. In a first for Chicago, a street is named after a Black trans woman

Elise Malary, a trans rights activist who was found dead nearly two years ago, received an honorary street name along a section of Catalpa Avenue near Clark Street on the North Side, my colleague Violet Miller reports.

Ald. Andre Vasquez, who sponsored the honorary designation along with Ald. Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, said Malary was the first Black trans woman to be honored in this way.

“We know we live in a city that doesn’t treat [Black trans women] with the dignity and protection everyone deserves,” Vasquez said. “We’re going to continue to fight until that’s the reality we live in.”

The moment was bittersweet for Malary’s loved ones, who mourned her death while celebrating the honor.

“It is majestic that her memory will live on in Chicago history forever,” said Albe Gutierrez, a friend of Elise’s. “It is some consolation, since she is not with us.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

5. It’s almost eclipse time

The astronomical event goes down on April 8 around 12:50 p.m. in the Chicago area.

And beginning today, retailer Warby Parker is handing out special glasses to safely view the eclipse, my colleague Emmanuel Camarillo reports.

The free glasses will be available at all Warby Parker stores while supplies last until the day of the eclipse, according to the company.

Health experts warn against viewing the eclipse without specially made glasses because it can lead to permanent impaired vision. Chicago’s Adler Planetarium will also hand out safe viewing glasses the morning of the eclipse. [Chicago Sun-Times]

The Chicago area is not in the eclipse’s path of totality, but the moon will appear to cover about 94% of the sun. [NASA]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Thousands of protesters in Israel are calling for elections to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. [BBC]

  • China appears to be using misinformation on social media to influence U.S. politics ahead of the 2024 presidential election. [New York Times]

  • Crews are working to open an interim cargo route near Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge. [CNN]

  • There’s at least one Chicago connection to Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Oh, and one more thing …

Looking for the perfect breakfast sandwich as you head to work?

WBEZ contributor Maggie Hennessy has spent more than a decade trying to find Chicago’s ideal breakfast sandwich. Today, she compiled a list of her favorites for commuters.

Her lineup includes newcomer cafes, pop-ups-turned standalones and restaurants with walk-up windows. And if this hasn’t made you hungry already, there are plenty of photos to give you a better picture of what you’re in for. [WBEZ]

Tell me something good …

Speaking of breakfast sandwiches, what’s your favorite breakfast or brunch spot in the Chicago area?

For me, it’s Alexander’s in Edgewater. Be sure to get the freshly squeezed orange juice because it is insanely good.

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

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