Good afternoon! It’s finally Friday, and this sleepy cat has the right idea for the weekend.
While some cardinals have stayed out of political discussions, Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich called for gun safety legislation in the wake of several mass shootings, including one at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
Cupich told NPR: “The Second Amendment, unlike the second commandment, did not come down from Sinai. There is an understanding that we all have in our hearts, engraved in our hearts, a natural law about the value of human life. And there is no amendment that can trump that.”
He added that while no law will be perfect, legislation could help bring down the number of mass shootings in the U.S. [NPR]
In a speech last night, President Joe Biden called on Congress to ban assault-style weapons, expand background checks and pass “red flag” laws. [New York Times]
Though all CPS schools get a set amount per student to run their buildings, it’s often not enough to get by. Fundraising by CPS schools has skyrocketed since 2010, with the most dollars going toward schools where students aren’t low income, a WBEZ analysis found.
As WBEZ’s Sarah Karp and Natalie Moore report: “Low-income students make up the majority of the student body at 82% of CPS’ elementary schools. The remaining fraction — just 77 schools, some in very affluent neighborhoods — spent two-thirds of the amount raised. Even among these 77 higher-income elementary schools, it is only those in the wealthiest North Side areas — such as Lincoln Park, North Center and Lake View — that raise and spend significant funds. In 2019, only 13 schools spent $300,000 or more in outside money.”
Some parents said schools that fundraise are better protected from budget cuts. But others argue that fundraising creates inequities and allows some parents to escape the realities of an underfunded system.
CPS officials noted that looking only at fundraising across the district doesn’t tell the whole story, as schools serving low-income students get extra federal, state and district resources. [WBEZ]
The U.S. economy saw another month of major growth as employers added 390,000 jobs in May, the Labor Department said today. The unemployment rate remains at 3.6%.
“Despite the slight cool-down, the tight labor market is clearly sticking around and is shrugging off fears of a downturn,” Daniel Zhao, a senior economist at Glassdoor, told the Washington Post in an email. “We continue to see signs of a healthy and competitive job market, with no signs of stepping on the brakes yet.”
One exception to the growth was the retail sector, where employment fell by 61,000 jobs. Experts say that’s because consumers shifted away from spending on goods to services like travel and entertainment.
The Federal Reserve pointed to the record-tight labor market as a reason they can raise interest rates without hurting the country’s economic recovery. [Washington Post]
Belmont Rocks was a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community during the 1960s and 1990s. Now, it’s home to a three-acre park honoring people who died during the AIDS epidemic, Block Club Chicago reports.
The garden has a 30-foot sculpture at the center designed by artist Keith Haring — who died of AIDS in 1990. The garden also includes a Ginkgo tree grove, planting beds and an educational trail with QR codes that take visitors to recordings from people affected by the epidemic.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who was at the unveiling of the garden yesterday, spoke about her memories of Belmont Rocks: “I was amazed to see what felt like a sea of diverse, beautiful humanity that was sitting there, hanging out, dancing, playing music [and] barbecuing.” [Block Club Chicago]
5. Displaced by a devastating fire, members of a South Side church remain faithful and vow to rebuild
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church’s Englewood church was badly damaged in a fire back in April, but that hasn’t stopped the congregation from meeting.
Weekly services have been held at Calahan Funeral Home on South Halsted Street while the congregation works to rebuild from the April 15 fire.
Antioch has been serving the Englewood neighborhood for decades by hosting town halls, graduation ceremonies, weddings and funerals — regardless of one’s ability to pay. It also sponsors housing for more than 2,500 low-income residents and seniors in the neighborhood.
Taking down the remains of the old structure is still in progress, making the timeline for a new church difficult to estimate. Plus, once that phase is complete, the church will need to fundraise to build back — and the congregation doesn’t know how much money it will need.
But members haven’t lost their faith.
“Our God is an on-time God,” Pastor Gerald Dew shouted from the pulpit during a recent service. [WBEZ]
Here’s what else is happening
GOP candidates for Illinois governor targeted Richard Irvin in their first full debate. [WBEZ]
Ukrainian officials say Russia is suffering “systematic counterattacks” in the south. [CNN]
Where to find free doughnuts and discounts in Illinois on National Doughnut Day. [NBC Chicago]
Britain is celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. [NPR]
Oh, and one more thing …
Summer means grilling, complete with burgers and barbecue.
Those burgers don’t have to be made of animal meat to be tasty — at least, Jack Bishop of PBS’s America’s Test Kitchen doesn’t think so.
Bishop says the key is to start with plant-based meat, not tempeh or tofu. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat make good options.
Top the patties with whatever fixings appeal to you, whether it be lettuce, tomatoes, cheese or something fancier. [NPR]
Tell me something good …
It’s finally warm outside, and my mom will be in town in a few weeks. I wanted to know, what are the best ice cream spots in Chicago we should hit up this summer?
“Logan Square’s Pretty Cool Ice Cream is the city’s top spot for pops! Their menu features popsicles in a wide array of traditional and more innovative flavors, including GF and Vegan options for everyone.”
“Vaca’s Creamery is the best non-dairy ice cream you’ll ever have and they have special flavors regularly. Hard to believe it’s oat milk based.”
“Of course, the Original Rainbow Cone on South Western Ave in Beverly is a tradition that is catching on all over the rest of the city and suburbs. They have been around since the 1920’s. On a hot summer evening, the line stretches a block or more, and people sit on the benches, curbs, and even parking blocks enjoying themselves. It’s such a happy place to be!”
Thanks for sharing! I’m sorry I couldn’t get to them all, but it was nice hearing from you all.