The Rundown: García’s TV ad misstep

Plus, Pope Francis says homosexuality is not a crime. Here’s what you need to know today.

The Rundown: García’s TV ad misstep

Plus, Pope Francis says homosexuality is not a crime. Here’s what you need to know today.

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Hey there! Can we just collectively declare this week over? Can we have that power, please? Anyway, here’s what you need to know today.

1. García’s first TV ad in the mayoral race may have an ethics problem

U.S. Rep. Jesús Chuy García’s first TV ad in the mayoral race shows him walking with two uniformed police officers, a potential violation of Chicago Police Department rules, reports WGN News.

Those rules prevent uniformed officers from participating in political activities. Uniformed officers can attend such events so long as they do not present themselves as police officers.

Now, a department spokesperson told WGN an internal investigation has been launched. García’s campaign told WGN the officers were not on duty when the ad was filmed.

The news also comes as Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign faces its own ethics problems after it solicited public school teachers for student volunteers. [WGN News]

The García campaign today released a new ad that removed the officers out of an “abundance of caution.” [WTTW News]

2. Two lawyers challenging Illinois’ assault weapons ban had previously won a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case

The lawyers, Paul Clement and Erin Murphy, last year successfully won a U.S. Supreme Court case that struck down New York’s concealed carry gun law.

And the National Rifle Association is helping their challenge in federal court, a spokesperson for the organization told my colleague Tina Sfondeles at the Chicago Sun-Times.

The federal lawsuit argues Illinois’ ban on assault weapons is unconstitutional, partly because the government can’t ban weapons that are commonly used for self-defense. [Chicago Sun-Times]

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on New York’s concealed carry law is notable for another reason. Constitutional law experts told the Sun-Times the decision in that case could spell doom for Illinois’ assault weapon ban.

That’s because the justices ruled judges can’t decide the constitutionality of gun laws based on concerns over public safety. [Chicago Sun-Times]

3. Pope Francis says homosexuality is not a crime

Pope Francis, in an interview published today by The Associated Press, condemned “unjust” laws criminalizing same-sex relationships and the church needs to do more to end such laws.

“Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Pope Francis told The Associated Press in the Vatican hotel where he lives. He also added, “We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are and for the strength that each of us fights for our dignity.”

At least 67 countries, the majority in Africa and the Middle East, have laws criminalizing same-sex relationships. And more than a dozen states in the U.S. still have anti-sodomy laws despite the Supreme Court ruling them unconstitutional in 2003.

“His historic statement should send a message to world leaders and millions of Catholics around the world: LGBTQ people deserve to live in a world without violence and condemnation, and more kindness and understanding,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of the U.S.-based advocacy group GLAAD. [AP]

4. Feeling unmotivated at work? You’re definitely not alone.

A new report from Gallup shows large numbers of workers, particularly Gen Zers and young millennials, are not engaged with their jobs. And the news comes as employees have increasingly begun tuning out during the pandemic.

About 32% of workers surveyed in 2022 said they were engaged with their jobs, a decline from 36% in 2020, NPR reports. And the largest dips were found in employees who work at the office but can do their jobs at home.

“There’s a growing disconnect between employee [and] employer. You could almost equate it to employees becoming a little bit more like gig workers,” says Jim Harter, author of Gallup’s report, noting that gig work by nature does not build strong loyalty between workers and their employers. [NPR]

5. NASCAR announces concert lineup for its street race in Chicago

Country music star Miranda Lambert, electric duo The Chainsmokers and the rock band The Black Crowes will headline concerts taking place alongside NASCAR’s street race in Chicago this summer, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Event organizers expect about 100,000 people will attend the two-day event, with general admission tickets starting at $269. [Chicago Tribune]

The Lightfoot administration and NASCAR struck a three-year deal to host the street race in Chicago. The deal requires NASCAR to pay the city a $500,000 permit fee per year and a guarantee of 15% of the net commissions on concession and merchandise, plus $2 per admission ticket.

But, as WBEZ contributor Mark Guarino wrote late last year, it’s not clear who outside of City Hall was clamoring for the race to be held in the city. [WBEZ]

Here’s what else is happening

  • The U.S. and Germany vow to send tanks to Ukraine to help it defend against Russian troops. [NPR]
  • NPR and The New York Times asked a judge to unseal documents in Dominion’s defamation case against Fox News. [NPR]
  • Adult Swim parts ways with Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland. [NPR]
  • Panic! at the Disco breaks up after nearly two decades. [NPR]

Oh, and one more thing …

Full disclosure: I loved Everything Everywhere All at Once, the multiverse-hopping adventure starring Michelle Yeoh, who has a shot at becoming the first Asian woman to win the Oscar for best actress.

“Ninety-five years of Oscars,” Yeoh told The New York Times. “Of course, I’m over the moon, but I feel a little sad because I know we know there have been amazing actresses from Asia that come before me, and I stand on their shoulders.”

She added, “I hope this will shatter that frigging glass ceiling to no end, that this will continue, and we will see more of our faces up there.” [New York Times]

Tell me something good …

What’s a small thing that gives you joy?

Jerilyn Willin writes:

“It sounds nerdy, but my library card was the first small thing that popped into my head. I have low vision and my library card allows me to get ‘Libby,’ the online library with thousands of books. I download them into my iPad, make the print larger and … I’m even reading in the dark!”

And Jill writes:

“The small thing that brings me joy is a clean dining room table. My many years of child-raising and homeschooling are finally finished, and just that one clean, clear surface shows me that I can live like a grownup now. Joy!”

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