Erin Allen: Good morning! It's Thursday. I'm Erin Allen and this is The Rundown. Have you ever heard of a text called The Treatise on Rights? Well Ramadan has begun. And a Muslim community group in Chicago is inviting people of all faiths to study this text during the holy fast. My colleague Adora Namigadde spoke to Sharkh Trenton Carl, who’s with the Sacred Roots Muslim Community. He says the text by the Prophet Muhammad’s great grandson can be better understood as the Treatise on Duties. He explained that it explores how to properly serve one’s neighbor, a perfect theme for the fasting period of Ramadan.
Sharkh Trenton Carl: Because Ramadan is a time period in which we’re encouraged to renounce the self. So not “what are you doing for me to fulfill my rights? But have I fulfilled my rights to you?”
Erin Allen: If you’d like to join in on studying the text, you can do so at the Sacred Roots building in Pilsen. Studying happens Saturday, Monday and Thursday evenings throughout Ramadan, with an added Sunday study April 9th.
I’ve been talking a lot on The Rundown about sleep, especially since Daylight Saving Time jacked us last week. I’m still recovering. Well, researchers at the University of Chicago are saying that better sleep can improve the body’s response to a variety of common vaccines – including the flu. My colleague Clare Lane looked into the study, and she says it defined insufficient sleep as under six hours per night. So, if you get insufficient sleep during the days surrounding vaccination, you could experience a decreased antibody response. In other words, more sleep often means a more effective vaccine response. The study examined the impact of sleep duration on vaccination against viral illnesses such as the flu and hepatitis. Now I know you're wondering about COVID-19. Karine Spiegel worked on the study, and she says that same effect could extend to all kinds of viruses, including COVID-19. She also says the correlation between sleep and antibody response was robust in men but more data are needed in women.
An update on the Discount Mall in Little Village – remember, it got a new owner a little bit ago – Novak Construction. And Novak has made moves to evict the vendors. The eviction would go into effect this Sunday. But some of those vendors have been selling products at the storied mall for over 30 years. So they’re fighting back. At issue right now is whether the vendors are legal tenants or license holders that can be shut down by their new landlord. And my colleague Claudia Morell is reporting that some of the vendors have filed suit. An emergency hearing is scheduled for this morning in Cook County Court. And it could determine the fate of the vendors and the Little Village Discount Mall itself. The vendors are asking a judge to prevent Novak from evicting them this weekend. Claudia spoke to Ramsin Canon, the attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the vendors. Cannon says his clients are more than just shop keepers, they’re part of the fabric that makes Little Village such a vibrant Mexican community.
Ramsin Cannon: Its become that way because of what small business owners like our clients, the work they’ve put in for decades to make it that way. Cannon says they’re seeking an injunction and restraining order from a judge.
Erin Allen: So earlier this year, we talked on the show about book banning requests in Illinois and across the country. And my colleague Adora Namigadde reported that most of these types of requests happen in areas outside of Chicago, but they are happening nonetheless in the state. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that there were 67 attempts to ban books in Illinois in 2022, up from 41 the year before. That’s according to the secretary of state’s office who got their numbers from the American Library Association. So now that we got all that context the update is that yesterday, the Illinois House approved a measure that would allow the secretary of state’s office to deny grant funding to both public and school libraries if they ban books. This would also apply if they fail to create policies against removing titles from their stacks. The vote was 69 to 39, along party-lines in the Democratic-led House. Which reflects the partisan divide on book-banning both in the state and nationally. The bill is now off to the Senate for consideration. For more context on book banning, check out my conversation with Adora. That episode is called “Book bans and sanctuaries a look at war and peace in local libraries.” You can search for it wherever you listen to podcasts.
And now for a few quick hits. Block Club is reporting that workers at four different Starbucks in Chicago went on strike yesterday in Greektown, Edgewater and West Ridge. This is a part of a growing movement to unionize Starbucks stores around the country. Seven Starbucks locations are already unionized in Chicago. And it’s about two weeks before the runoff elections and the polls still need workers. Officials overseeing elections in Chicago and Cook County suburbs say they each need as many as 1,000 election judges. Cook County’s election administrators are calling it a – quote – :critical shortage" and they put out an urgent call for more paid election judges this week. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been to the circus, but it might be worth checking out this year. ABC 7 is reporting that “Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey circus” is coming back to Chicago this November. It’ll be their first time here since 2017. And this time, they’ll have no live animals. If you’re like, Oh I wanna see that, tickets are on sale now.
And saving the best for last, it’s Chaka Khan’s birthday! In case you didn't know, she is from Chicago. Happy Birthday girl! As for weather, it’s raining this morning but that’ll slack up pretty soon. It will be cloudy for the rest of today. Temperatures will be in the mid to upper 30s pretty much all day and tonight.
And that's it for the Rundown today. Thank you for listening. I'm Erin Allen. I'll talk to you tomorrow morning.
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