Good afternoon! It’s Friday! And get your galoshes out because it looks like we’re in for a stormy weekend. Here’s what you need to know today.
1. Chicago teachers authorize a strike
Leaders from the Chicago Teachers Union said last night that 94% of its members voted in favor of a strike, easily surpassing the 75% threshold required by law.
So what happens next? The two sides are at the bargaining table all day today. If they can’t reach a deal by Wednesday, the union is planning to set a strike date, and that walkout date will likely be in mid-October. [WBEZ]
The city and the CTU can’t agree on a number of issues. Among them are compensation — specifically, how much of a raise teachers should get over how many years — as well as limits on class size. Take a look at this explainer graphic to see exactly where each side stands on each issue. [WBEZ]
2. House Democrats want to know why Trump delayed aid to Ukraine
The Wall Street Journal reports two House committees are asking the White House why nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine was held up in July — days before President Donald Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
The chairpersons of the House Appropriations Committee and House Budget Committee sent a letter to the White House saying they had “serious concerns” that withholding aid from Ukraine could represent “an abuse of the authority provided to the president.” [WSJ]
Those developments come after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Tuesday, the White House released a briefing of the president’s controversial call with the Ukrainian president on Wednesday and a whistleblower complaint against Trump was made public on Thursday.
If you’re still confused with the details of the Ukraine-Trump story, NPR explains what Democrats are seeking, how supporters of President Trump are responding and what to expect next. [NPR]
3. Mayor announces debt forgiveness for city sticker fees and tickets
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced today a debt relief program for Chicagoans who have collected late fees and tickets for having an out-of-date city sticker on their vehicle.
Starting Oct. 1, residents can buy new city stickers with no added late fees or back charges. Then, beginning Nov. 15, “everyone who is in compliance with their city sticker by Oct. 31 will be eligible to have some or all of their city sticker tickets forgiven,” Lightfoot said in a video. [Chicago Sun-Times]
You can find more information and apply for debt relief on the city’s website. [City of Chicago]
The announcement follows a monthslong investigation from WBEZ and ProPublica Illinois that found the city’s ticketing practices disproportionately affect low-income and black neighborhoods. [ProPublica Illinois]
4. Chicago has the widest racial gap in the country when it comes to economic mobility
A group of economists spent the last few years analyzing census data and tax returns to measure how Americans are improving their economic status over time.
And they found that Chicago is one of the worst places in America for black children — especially black boys — to rise out of lower-income brackets.
“Most cities, if they’re pretty good for white men, they’re also decently good for black men,” said the study’s lead author, Harvard economist Raj Chetty. “Chicago is one of those unique places where it’s quite good for white men, near the top among big cities, yet it’s near the bottom for black men.” [WBEZ]
5. Illinois’ state historian finds ‘no evidence’ Abe Lincoln wore this hat
If you visited Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln presidential museum about 10 years ago, you probably saw a beaver-skin stovepipe hat purportedly owned by the nation’s 16th president.
But according to new documents obtained by WBEZ, Illinois’ state historian pored through the Illinois State Archives and found no evidence the hat — once valued at $6.5 million — actually belonged to Old Abe. [WBEZ]
Here’s what else is happening
The Trump administration cut the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the U.S. in half — to 18,000 next year. [NPR]
Cubs organist Gary Pressy, who is retiring this month after 33 years, never missed a game. [WBEZ]
Illinois’ attorney general is advancing the criminal probe into the deadly outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease at a Quincy veterans home. [WBEZ]
Worldview celebrated film critic, historian and contributor Milos Stehlik, who passed away this July. [WBEZ]
Oh, and one more thing …
Michelin just awarded their highly-coveted Michelin stars to five new Chicago restaurants, all of them in the West Loop.
And three of the winning restaurants specialize in Japanese “omakase” — literally “respectfully leaving another to decide what is best” — a dining trend where you let the chef choose your order.
I’m no foodie, so it’ll come as no surprise that I learned Michelin stars were awarded by the Michelin tire company very recently. [Crain’s]
Tell me something good …
Hunter used a new character this week in Dungeons and Dragons: Glöstik the Destroyer, lord of ravers, rider of strobe lights. And that got him thinking, what are some of your favorite fantasy characters?
Zach Caddy writes:
“While I’m tempted to say my favorite is my own D&D character, Rolyn Greenbottle, the real answer has to be Samwise Gamgee. He might be the best friend ever depicted in literature or on film and what he lacks in fighting skill he makes up for with the biggest heart in Middle Earth!”
Thanks to everyone for all the responses this week. You all are a riot.
Have a nice night! We’ll see you next week. And if you like what you just read, you can subscribe to the newsletter here and have it delivered to your inbox.