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People unloading boxes out of a truck

Pastor Torrey Barrett, center, gets help from migrants to unload supplies at the KLEO Community Family Life Center Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in Chicago.

Erin Hooley/AP

People unloading boxes out of a truck

Pastor Torrey Barrett, center, gets help from migrants to unload supplies at the KLEO Community Family Life Center Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in Chicago.

Erin Hooley/AP

WBEZ’s Weekly News Recap: Dec. 1, 2023

The migrant crisis, secret recordings of Ed Burke, primary challengers for top Democrats. Reset breaks down the biggest stories of the week.

Pastor Torrey Barrett, center, gets help from migrants to unload supplies at the KLEO Community Family Life Center Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in Chicago.

Erin Hooley/AP

   

The Illinois primary is 109 days away

The 2024 general election is nearly a year away, but primary day in Illinois is March 19. That came up fast, didn’t it? Early and mail-in voting will start even sooner.

This week, candidates for many local, state and federal offices — think Congress, sheriff, state’s attorney, et cetera — began to file petitions to appear on the March ballot.

So, what did we learn? Well, Democrats like U.S. reps Danny Davis, Jan Schakowsky and Mike Quigley could have primary challengers. And former Illinois House GOP leader Jim Durkin says he’s not running for Cook County state’s attorney after all.

He told the Tribune that Trump’s name at the top of the ballot would be “destructive on any Republican running in Cook County.” We talk politics on the Recap.

Ed Burke trial heats up

Meanwhile, more drama in the trial of former Chicago alderman Ed Burke. There was a motion for a mistrial, and we began to hear secret tapes recorded by former Chicago alderman Danny Solis. He was wearing a wire for the FBI.

Burke served 54 years in City Council. He’s pleaded not guilty to attempted extortion, bribery and other charges.

In the Recap, we discuss the trial so far, what comes next and what impact corruption cases like Burke’s have on democracy in Illinois.

‘Aldermanic prerogative’ is bad for affordable housing

Speaking of aldermen, have you heard of “aldermanic prerogative”? It’s an unwritten rule in Chicago that lawmakers have the final say on what gets built in their wards.

This week, the federal government said the practice is limiting affordable housing in the city, especially in majority-white neighborhoods.

It’s easy to imagine knock-on effects: More segregation in one of the nation’s most segregated cities, and fewer apartments for people in need, including the unhoused, migrants and asylum seekers.

Chicago teams up with churches to house migrants

More than 26,000 newcomers have arrived in Chicago since August 2022. And many are sleeping in police stations, airports and tents as the city struggles to provide beds.

On Reset this week, we heard from a pastor who’s housing migrants. “You’re safe here,” he told one newcomer who burst into tears when he saw a cabinet full of food in the church pantry. “This is your new home.”



Rev. Jonathan de la O is one of 17 Christian leaders partnering with the city to get hundreds out of the cold. It’s a small-scale, temporary solution but one we can cheer nonetheless.

Click the audio player to hear more on the migrant crisis in Chicago, including the latest on city shelters and the tent camp planned for Brighton Park. And much more.

GUESTS: Dave McKinney, WBEZ state politics reporter

Michael Loria, Chicago Sun-Times reporter

Monica Eng, Axios Chicago reporter

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