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Tuesday, December 1, 2015
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This is the Aldertrack free weekday political news aggregation edited by Mike Fourcher & Ramsin Canon. It includes an overview of pertinent Chicago political reporting, data and opinion from across the spectrum. Aldertrack also provides original City Hall political reporting for subscribers. Learn more here.
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Mayor’s Meeting With Black Clergy May Have Made His Standing In Black Community Worse
by Mike Fourcher –

Last Tuesday, with pressure building on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to release the dash-cam video of Laquan McDonald’s shooting, the Mayor held a trio of morning meetings with three different groups of Chicago’s African-American leadership: youth leaders, Black clergy and members of the City Council Black Caucus.

According to reports provided to Aldertrack from some of those present, the Mayor made a pair of missteps just as he was attempting to earn the trust of the Black community, and may have actually worsened his standing.

Asked for comment, a mayoral spokesman said, “We do not comment on private meetings.”

Held in a City Hall meeting room with about 25-30 clergy members seated around a U-shaped table, the clergy meeting was the second of three held in quick succession, in different rooms. According to accounts given to Aldertrack, Mayor Emanuel came into the room, briefly shook hands, mentioned he'd only gotten two hours of sleep the night before, and quickly got to business explaining the facts of the McDonald shooting as he understood them.

“It was a little tense. People were really concerned about the truthfulness of the video. They wanted to get more information concerning that. A lot of the guys wanted to hear the Mayor’s side of the story,” said Washington Park-based Pastor Corey Brooks, who was in the meeting.

After explaining the content of the video, Emanuel condemned the actions of the shooter, Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, but then told the assembled pastors that he had not yet seen the dash-cam video. His admission startled many in the group.

“We were all a little surprised that he had not watched the video, but then he called it ‘hideous’,” said Rev. Brooks.

“You signed off on a $5 million check to an orphan. You don’t tell me you don’t see the tape. That doesn’t compute for me,” said radio personality Carl West, who attended the meeting and referred to 17 year-old Laquan McDonald’s status as a ward of the state when he died.

“I believed him,” that he didn’t see the video, said South Side youth center director Rev. Torrey Barrett, who also attended the meeting. “The reason is that I’ve experienced it myself in the past, something so horrific people have said, ‘You don’t want to see this.’”

The Mayor then asked the group to stress peaceful protest through the Thanksgiving weekend and to avoid violence.

“He encouraged us to encourage the community to exercise their first amendment rights, but to do so peacefully,” said Rev. Barrett. “The point of the meeting was how to encourage that peaceful protest.”

According to attendees, the Mayor then told the group that if there was violence over the weekend, he would not be able to find resources to bring jobs into their community.

“He said, if things go bad then don’t come looking to me for jobs,” said Rev. Brooks.

“There was something about how if you don’t encourage peace, don’t look to me for resources,” said Young Leaders Alliance head Jedidiah Brown, who was also present.

According to multiple people, Rev. Brooks then interrupted the Mayor, “I told him that was insensitive, it was unfair to hold us accountable if anything went wrong and that we would not get jobs.”

The Mayor then backtracked, according to Brooks and others. “He said that what he meant was that resources he’d use to get jobs [would have to be] use[d] to clean up the city of Chicago,” following violent protests.

“From what I got out of it, like any other city, if there’s unpeaceful protests, the city takes an economic hit because of it,” said Rev. Barrett.

All agreed that following the jobs discussion, the group got testier.

Brown asked if Mayor Emanuel would fire Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. The Mayor refused to do so, “Because the Superintendent has done some things that have improved the culture of the Police Department,” Brown says the Mayor told the group.

There were a few more questions, like why the city awarded $5 million to the family of the ward of the state, and why the Mayor didn’t just go against union rules to fire Van Dyke.

“He took some tough questions, I was impressed with that,” said West.

But soon after, Mayor Emanuel had to go to his next meeting, with the City Council Black Caucus. In just a few hours he would release the McDonald video and watch it for the first time, along with the rest of Chicago.

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Ward Reports
  • PSA: The Winter Parking Ban Is Here. Certain arterial streets are off limits for parking between 3:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. to make it easier for salting and plowing. Pay close attention to street signs with snowflakes, or your car might get towed in the middle of the night. #dibsseason 
  • Ald. Joe Moreno (1) and his wife, Celena Roldan Moreno, are co-chairs of an event marking the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade in support of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) on January 21st, 2016. State Sen. Daniel Biss, who recently dropped out of the State Comptroller's race, is an honoree. 
  • Ald. Pat Dowell (3) wants to knowCameo or Slave?
  • Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6) appeared on CNN last night. 
  • Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) says he supports "the Latino Caucus effort to reform the institution rather than make superficial, cosmetic changes that do not address the fundamental issues that brought us to this situation." He's also offering free HIV testing at his ward office. 
  • Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26) joined Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and other aldermen in calling for Anita Alvarez's resignation.
  • Ald. Jason Ervin (28) is holding a "Steppin to the Next Level" fundraiser for 28th Ward Democrats, featuring the West Side's only mechanical bull. Tickets are $25.  
  • Ald. Scott Waguespack (32) shared a robbery alert that linked Bucktown, Lakeview, Logan Square, and Wicker Park, and a recent report from the NYPD's Inspector IG-NYPD on Police policies. He tweeted "#Chicago has nothing like this-not IPRA, Police Board, or Admin."
  • Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35) thanked volunteers and members of United Neighbors of the 35th Ward for helping collect petitions for his Committeeman run. He said he was proud to be "official and unopposed".
  • Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41) shared a picture from a ward night meeting with a local boy scout troop. 
  • Ald. Tom Tunney (44) shared thanks and congratulations to the Northside Community Justice Center, announcing two four year sentences for robbers in the area.  
  • Ald. James Cappleman (46) thanked stakeholders who voted in a zoning meeting on the proposed Clarendon/Montrose development. 
  • Ald. Harry Osterman (48) held "a community prayer and conversation to discuss policing, public safety and race relations" at Emanuel Congregation last night. 
  • Ald. Joe Moore (49) invited people to the premiere of Spike Lee's new movie Chi-Raq, "followed by a community discussion of the issues raised in the film, including violence in Chicago and our Rogers Park neighborhood."
  • In an email blast, former 26th Ward Candidate Juanita Irizarry says she and Grassroots Illinois Action—Humboldt Park Area "are keeping the incumbent alderman on his toes." Irizarry recently became executive director of Friends of the Parks
  • The Chicago Department of Aviation says $10 per day reserved parking will be offered at O'Hare and Midway International Airports starting today. More details here.
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Chicago Political News

Facing intense heat on McDonald shooting, Emanuel seeks to buy time with police task force [Tribune]
Rahm to Announce Police Accountability Task Force Tuesday [DNA Info]
Mayor to Announce Task Force on Police Accountability [NBC5]
Chicago to create police task force after officer charged with murder[Reuters]

Preckwinkle calls for McCarthy to go, Alvarez to step down [Tribune]
Garcia wants Alvarez to quit; state's attorney's political base in jeopardy [Sun Times]
Anita Alvarez Should Resign Over Laquan McDonald Shooting Probe: Garcia [DNA Info]
Many Call For McCarthy's Resignation After Laquan McDonald Shooting [ABC7]

Anita Alvarez Responds to Calls for Her Resignation, Says She Will Not Be 'Bullied [NBC5]

Cop in Laquan McDonald's shooting freed from jail on $150,000 bond [Tribune]
Cop charged in Laquan McDonald case bonds out of jail [Sun Times]
$1.5M Bond Set for Chicago Officer in Shooting Death [WBEZ]
Officer Accused of Killing Laquan McDonald is Released from Jail [Chicago Tonight]
Chicago officer, charged with murdering black teen, posts bond [Reuters]

Source: FBI finds Burger King video not altered in Laquan McDonald case [Sun Times]

Mayor Goes Silent After Release of Laquan McDonald Shooting Video [NBC5]

10 arrested at Laquan McDonald protest at City Hall [Sun Times]
Laquan McDonald Activist Tries To Chain Doors Shut at Police Headquarters [DNA Info]

Mag Mile Stores Report Drop in Sales after Laquan Shooting Protests [DNA Info]

Tyshawn Lee's killing the fourth in recent feud between gang factions [Tribune]

Man charged in threat at University of Chicago linked to Laquan McDonald shooting [Tribune]
U of C threat leads to arrest [Crain's]
Chicago man arrested for gun threat linked to black teen's killing [Reuters]
Closures in Hyde Park result from university threat [Hyde Park Herald]

Dorothy Brown to face Ald. Harris, three others in court clerk race [Sun Times]

Scant sign of a Democratic primary revolt against Madigan [Crain's]

How Midway clout king got out of property taxes [Sun Times]

Chicago High Schoolers Launch Website Against School Food [WBEZ]

City To Pay $100K to Photographer Who Sued for Attack by Controversial Cop [DNA Info]
City to Pay $100,000 to Photojournalist Who Alleged Police Brutality [WBEZ]

Bridgeport Alliance Meeting, Elections Set For Thursday [DNA Info]


Hinz: Emanuel faces critical test over McDonald shooting

Brown: Voters can decide whether Alvarez has to go

Mitchell: City blocking release of another police dashcam video

Jackson: It's time for answers in Laquan McDonald case

Miner: Why do cops in trouble get the benefit of the doubt?

White parents need to start talking about racial violence against African-Americans

Chicagoans deserve justice — without delay

Chicago Tribune Editorial: Don't lose sight of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee

Sun Times Editorial: McCarthy must go

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