Erin Allen: Good morning. I'm Erin Allen and this is The Rundown. In yesterday's quick hits, I mentioned that six save a lot grocery stores on the south and west sides will be renovated after Chicago aldermen approved almost $13.5 million dollars in tax increment financing. Several aldermen celebrated the deal. But when it comes to community members, there may be a branding problem. Alderman Jason Ervin of the 28th Ward, who's also chairman of the city council's Black Caucus said the Save A Lot name that will be revived in stores has seriously been damaged by a history of store closings. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Ervin said he understands that there quote may need to be some connection with Save A Lot. But he'd liked to see certain locations reopened under a different name to address the bad taste the company left in the mouths of local residents who have felt betrayed by closings. The initiative is already receiving pushback from some community members who associate Save A Lot with low quality like Linda Austin. Speaking with a motion during public testimony at a city council meeting yesterday, she says she lives in Inglewood and communities need better brands to choose from
Linda Austin: we do not need to save a lot. We need an upscale grocery store. There's no way you got $300,000 dollar homes and the only store we can go to is a Aldi's and a Save A Lot. That's not fair to us.
Erin Allen: Mayor Lori Lightfoot says efforts to rehab the Save A Lots are an opportunity to tackle what are known as food deserts. A black owned investment firm will use the funds to renovate the locations in areas that they say have lost five grocery stores in the past two years.
An instructor at University of Chicago is postponing a course called the problem of whiteness because of safety concerns. Last week a student tweeted about the class and that sparked a wave of online harassment. My colleague Nereida Moreno has more
Nereida Moreno: Despite the threats you Chicago instructor Rebecca Journey says she still plans to offer the class in the spring under the same title and description. Her inbox has been flooded with death threats in recent weeks after a student accused her of spreading anti white hatred. But that's not what our class is about.
Rebecca Journey: So the class approaches whiteness as a collective identity formation, created and sustained with real consequences for the consolidation of wealth, power, prestige and opportunity.
Erin Allen: University officials defended the course signing a commitment to free speech.
If you know some folks, particularly Black and brown folks who have left the city in the last few years, you're not the only one who's noticed. The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that this week Mayor Lori Lightfoot launched the repopulation phase of her signature plan to rebuild 10 long neglected commercial corridors on the South and West sides of Chicago. Planning and Development Commissioner Maurice Cox says hundreds of 1000s of families have left the two areas because they quote cannot get to a corner store. They did not have safe parks. He calls it the bleeding of Black and brown families from Chicago. To encourage families to quote "come home," he plan calls for three strategies to spur infill development on 5600 city owned vacant lots and several communities on the south and west sides. This would involve building varying styles of residential and commercial buildings in the area's residential blocks and commercial corridors. There's a lot more to the plan including an architecture contest and digital platform. You can read more about that at chicago.suntimes.com.
And Mayor Lightfoot is pledging to develop transgender inclusive hiring policies within her office. She's urging other companies to sign on to a so called Hire Trans Now Pledge, but says the city first must lead by example. Lightfoot's promise comes days ahead of the internationally recognized Trans Day of Remembrance and resilience this Sunday, November 20th.
And a few quick hits before we get to weather. The Faculty Union at the University of Illinois Chicago has voted to strike in the next 10 days if it can't reach a contract agreement with the University. And the truck driver who crashed into the St. Ignatius hockey teams bus last weekend, injuring 16 students, has been charged with a felony count of causing bodily harm and criminal recklessness. And the US Department of Agriculture Director of Nutrition Security and Health Equity wrapped up her two day Chicago visit yesterday when she met with health care providers and local organizers that helped communities access healthy food.
In the weather today more clouds and snow here and they're high in the mid 30s. Tonight cloudy and a little more frigid low in the mid 20s. And that's it for The Rundown. No afternoon episode today but as for tomorrow afternoon, does this voice sound familiar?
Hannibal Buress: You're listening to The Rundown with Erin Allen. This is Tyrese Gibson from the Fast and Furious franchise. Hey, what's up? Hey, it's Lil Rel Howery. Ello, ello, I'm Daniel Kaluuya.
Erin Allen: Here's a hint. It is a famous dark skinned Black man, but not any of those. If you didn't pick it up, I can't wait to tell you who it is bright and early tomorrow morning on The Rundown. I'm Erin Allen Talk to you then.
WBEZ transcripts are generated by an automatic speech recognition service. We do our best to edit for misspellings and typos, but mistakes do come through.