Justin Bull: Good morning and happy Monday. I'm Justin Bull in for Erin Allen and this is The Rundown.
We'll start with sad news out of California over the weekend that had ripple effects across the country. A mass shooting just outside of L.A. amid Lunar New Year celebrations claimed the lives of 10 people and wounded 10 others. The Saturday night's shooting took place at a ballroom dance studio in the predominantly Asian community of Monterey Park. It cast a shadow over the Lunar New Year festivities across the country including here in Chicago, but the Chicago Tribune reports that people were still coming out to celebrate. They reported a pact house yesterday at the St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church in Chinatown, there was traditional dancing firecrackers and prayers for the victims and the shooter. One attendee told the Tribune that the shooting did not affect her decision to come to the celebration, quote, "you can't live in fear," she said. It's the nation's 5th mass shooting this month.
And late on Friday here in Illinois a judge in downstate Effingham County granted a pause on the states new assault weapons ban. That's the law that was signed by Governor JB Pritzker earlier this month, one that largely came to pass in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Highland Park over the Fourth of July last year. The pause in the assault weapons ban only applies to the over 800 people who brought the lawsuit. That means the plaintiffs can lawfully possess assault weapons without having to register them with the state. My colleague Mawa Iqbal reports that Illinois Democratic leaders aren't happy. Pritzker called it disappointing. Attorney General Kwame Raoul said he's asking the appellate court to vacate the ruling. This lawsuit is one of three known legal challenges to the law since it was enacted earlier this month.
Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion rights ruling overturned by the Supreme Court last year, and activists in dozens of cities across the country spent the day marching in support of abortion rights. The marquee event was in Madison, Wisconsin, but there were several in Chicago as well. My colleague Adora Namigadde spoke with pro abortion activists at a gathering in the South Side.
Rachel O’Brien: I just wanna be here because this is healthcare, this is women’s rights. This is important issues that we need to talk about.
Justin Bull: That’s Rachel O’Brien, who says she attended the rally because she thinks there should be more access to abortion. Ebonny Watford from Wicker Park agreed.
Ebonny Watford: You're not holding people back who want to have fun and have sex... you're holding people back who need lifesaving procedures.
Justin Bull: The pro-abortion events followed Friday’s March for Life rally. That’s the annual anti-abortion rally in Washington DC that this year, was more of a victory rally.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says he wants Illinois to be considered as a first in the nation presidential primary state. Democrats are expected to change the primary calendar to kick Iowa and New Hampshire out of those first slots. Durbin likes that idea and he says Illinois has the diversity that a key primary state needs.
Dick Durbin : I've spent a lot of my life, political life, in Iowa. It's a charming and interesting state, but it hardly represents America as a whole.
Justin Bull: The Democratic National Committee is considering South Carolina and Georgia as potential first primary states.
And now for a few quick hits. First off, happy Lunar New Year. Yesterday marked the beginning of the year of the rabbit, that's my year. And there are celebrations in the city all week long, lots of them are in Chinatown, downtown and also on Argyle Street in Uptown. I saw a nice list of parades and concerts and culinary events at choosechicago.com. Check it out.
Classes at the University of Illinois at Chicago will resume today after faculty and administrators reached a tentative contract deal late last night. Their tentative agreement raises minimum salaries for faculty, boosts average annual salaries and commits the university to developing a student mental healthcare plan.
Illinois set a goal of having one million electric vehicles on the road by 2030, but a new study from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute says that's going to cost the state billions in gas taxes. The institute is recommending a switch to a "vehicle miles traveled fee" to make up for the lost revenue.
And Lin Brehmer, the longtime Chicago radio host at WXRT, died yesterday. He was 68 years old.
As for the weather, it's mostly cloudy, a little windy with temperatures hanging around 30° most of the day. Looking ahead, there's a chance we may get a few inches of snowfall this week. Maybe Wednesday, may be also Friday. And that's it for The Rundown, on the afternoon show today...
Christopher LeMark: I was sitting there listening to Meek Mill, and I just start falling apart, I had the most messy and embarrassing cry.
Justin Bull: Christopher LeMark talks about how he had a down moment at age 39 - but it led him to start an organization that aims to destigmatize mental health struggles, specifically in the Black community. That's later today at 2 p.m., I'm Justin Bull, and I’ll see you then.
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