Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (11/4)

November 4, 2022


Illinois COVID Metrics Show Slight Decrease in Cases, Vaccinations in Recent Days, by NBC 5 Chicago.



Pritzker Administration Reopens Housing Assistance Program for Illinois Homeowners: “The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) announced the Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund (ILHAF) is now open to support qualified homeowners who need help with past-due mortgage payments and related expenses due to financial hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting today, eligible households may apply for grants of up to $60,000 for past-due mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance and homeowner and/or condo association fees,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Pritzker moves to make abortion more accessible to people in prisons: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker pledged to remove a barrier to abortion for people in prison after a WBEZ investigation found incarcerated people had to pay for the procedure and the wages of the correctional officer required to accompany them to appointments outside the prison,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

Bailey makes final pitches to voters after rising from little-known representative to Republican nominee for governor: “Bailey remains in an uphill battle against the wealthy governor in a state that favors Democrats. But after gaining national attention with former President Donald Trump’s endorsement in June and a decisive primary victory despite a financial disadvantage, Bailey’s closing message radiates confidence,” by The Daily Line.

Here are the candidates running for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago: “Four seats on the nine-member Board of Commissioners for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) are up for election Nov. 8. The board members serve staggered six-year terms and are elected at-large, meaning they represent the area as a whole and not specific districts within the MWRD. At least three seats are up for election every election cycle, and this year a fourth seat is open,” by The Daily Line.

Office of Independent Inspector General sees Cook County complaints continue to rise, as budget set to grow slightly in 2023: “During an Oct. 25 budget hearing before the Cook County Board of Commissioners Finance Committee, Interim Inspector General Steven E. Cyranoski told commissioners the number of complaints received by the Office of the Independent Inspector General continues to increase each year as the number of staff in the office is proposed to stay flat in 2023,” by The Daily Line.

State senator whose district includes Arlington Park opposes possible Bears TIF: “State Sen. Ann Gillespie, an Arlington Heights Democrat who is sponsor of legislation to reform the controversial TIF process, questioned the need for the local property tax help during conversations about the NFL franchise’s possible move to the shuttered racetrack, where the team has proposed a $5 billion mixed-use redevelopment,” by Daily Herald.

Thanks to early voting and vote-by-mail, 1 million ballots have been cast so far in Illinois: “Based on a pretty comprehensive board report that came out mid-day Thursday (but may be a day behind in some cases), 968,886 of the state’s 8.1 million registered voters had already voted early or returned a mail ballot to their local election agency. Overall, that’s 9% above the comparable figure from the 2018 general election which, like this year, had the governor on the ballot but not the presidency,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.


CPD’s $1.94 billion budget not being used “effectively or equitably,” according to city Commission  

Chicago’s Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA) – a new interim commission tasked with providing oversight of the Chicago Police Department (CDP) – released a 16-page report Thursday citing concerns that CPD is not using its $1.94 billion budget “effectively or equitably” because it lacks “a long-term, data-driven strategy to reduce violence.”

CCPSA President Anthony Driver Jr.’s introduction letter at the beginning of the report raises “a number of very serious concerns, including whether the Police Department is using its workforce in a way that is best meeting the city’s public safety needs.”

The Commission’s report asks questions and makes a number of recommendations relating to workforce allocation, training, community policing, legal judgements, and general city priorities and values.

The report also calls for more transparency in the budgeting process, criticizing the short time its members had to review CPD’s budget. “It is essential that the Commission be thorough and fair in this process. That will take time, because the Commission is asking hard questions that demand complicated answers.”


Four days before budget vote, Lightfoot goes on offensive against balking City Council members: “Nearly four years ago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot used money from her political action committee to call out City Council members who dared to vote against her first budget. On Thursday, she did her political shaming before the fact — four days before Monday’s final Council vote on her $16.4 billion 2023 budget. During a live interview on WGN-AM (720), Lightfoot called out alderpersons, including two members of her leadership team, for trying to have it both ways,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

City Council to meet Friday but budget vote not expected until Monday meeting: “The City Council will meet Friday for a meeting that is expected to be short as aldermen plan to delay a vote on budget-related ordinances until Monday,” by The Daily Line.

Protesters march from homeless encampment to City Hall to highlight Chicago’s ongoing homelessness crisis: “Activists gathered Thursday morning in downtown Chicago to protest the removal of winterized tents that had been tagged by the city with notices warning occupants the tents had to be cleared for a street cleaning scheduled for Thursday,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Mayor Lightfoot Announces Process to Fill 12th Ward Vacancy: “On Wednesday, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced the process to identify a qualified candidate to become the next Alderman of Chicago’s 12th ward,” from the Office of Mayor Lightfoot.

Mayor Lightfoot Joins Alderwoman Taylor, Michaels Organization, DL3 Realty to Break Ground on Park Station Lofts: “On Wednesday, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined Alderwoman Jeanette Taylor, the Michaels Organization, DL3 Realty, and a host of community stakeholders to break ground on the Park Station Lofts.  The new mixed-income, mixed-use, affordable living community in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood will occupy a city-owned property at the southeast corner of E. 63rd Street and S. Maryland Ave, which is currently vacant,” from the Office of Mayor Lightfoot.


Beltway Briefing Special Edition: On Location in Tel Aviv

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer and Mark Alderman discuss Israeli business and politics directly from Tel Aviv, Israel.

Listen to the Beltway Briefing here.

Cozen Currents: Midterm Elections – Do the Issues or Candidates Matter More?

  • It’s one week until the midterm elections and the biggest battle to determine congressional control is a tug of war between national issues and individual candidate qualities.
  • Ticket splitting has declined in recent years, but it could tip the balance of the Senate this cycle.
  • Though the midterm elections will likely usher in divided government in Washington, DC, voters could put several states under unified control of a single party while also making key decisions on a range of issues via ballot measures that gridlocked politicians have been unable to resolve.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.


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