Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (4/12)

April 12, 2023

PUBLIC HEALTH 

IDPH Reports 14 Illinois Counties at an Elevated Community Level for COVID-19, from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

ILLINOIS

Three public universities on strike, union members call on Pritzker to get involved 

Faculty and staff from Governors State University have joined members on strike from Chicago State University (CSU) and Eastern Illinois University (EIU) in demanding fair pay and reduced workloads, calling on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to provide support to union negotiations.

The unions are members of the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) 4100. Members contend their workload has increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic while their pay has not, with many faculty members living paycheck to paycheck. UPI President John Miller called on Pritzker Tuesday to make the faculty and staff at universities a priority in his budget.

Although higher education funding has increased by $219 million since Pritzker first took office in 2019 and is set for a record $2.47 billion total in FY 2024, a report from the Center for Tax and Budget and Accountability found that the state’s funding for higher education has decreased by 46 percent in the last two decades, when adjusted for inflation.

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson also joined the picket lines Tuesday to “demonstrate and show solidarity,” speaking to striking faculty members at Chicago State University.

AROUND THE STATE 

As faculties of three public universities across Illinois strike, union leaders are calling on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to intervene: “Professors from universities including Chicago State, Eastern Illinois and now Governors State in the south suburbs are demanding fair pay and reduced workloads. During a rally at Governors State on Tuesday, the leader of the state faculty union, John Miller, said administrators have put themselves first,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

CHICAGO

Chicago to host 2024 Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has picked Chicago to host next year’s Democratic National Convention.

Party leaders have shared that the city’s diversity and labor union strength contributed to the DNC’s decision to pick Chicago over rival frontrunner Atlanta. The selection may also help reinforce the “Blue Wall” of surrounding battleground states in the Midwest.

The convention is expected to draw 5,000 to 7,000 delegates and attract up to 50,000 visitors, providing Chicago with a much-needed boost to the city’s recovering hospitality industry and overall economy.

The Democratic National Convention is set for Aug. 19-22, 2024 and will mark the 12th time Chicago has hosted the event. The Republican National Convention will be held in Milwaukee July 15-18, 2024.

MORE FROM CITY HALL 

Johnson names transition team leadership: “Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson today announced his transition team leadership, with Jessica Angus tapped to serve as transition director. Johnson’s transition leadership team also includes: Jason Lee and Amisha Patel as senior advisers, Erica Bland-Durosinmi and DJavan Conway as intergovernmental advisers, and Maria Virginia Martinez as legal adviser.

Knudsen locks up full term in 43rd Ward as challenger Comer concedes a week after runoff: “Lincoln Park Ald. Timmy Knudsen (43rd) has officially parlayed his City Council appointment into election to a full term, as challenger Brian Comer on Tuesday conceded defeat a week after the polls closed in their runoff contest,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

City Council to get new youngest member with Mosley’s win in South Side’s 21st Ward: “The victory of community organizer Ronnie Mosley, 31, was secured on Monday with the concession of retired firefighter Cornell Dantzler, who concluded the ballots that could still arrive in the mail would not be enough to erase Mosley’s lead,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

ShotSpotter, firm behind Chicago police gunshot-detection tool, changes its name: “The rebrand comes months after the city extended the company’s contract for a second time. Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson has vowed to end the deal,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Workforce development committee approves collective bargaining agreement, new salary schedule for senior staff: “The City Council Committee on Workforce Development on Monday approved a collective bargaining agreement with the union representing public sector employees and approved a measure revising and updating the salary schedule for some non-union senior management staff. Both the ordinance containing the labor agreement and the separate salary measure would raise pay for city workers, including department commissioners and some other staff who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement,” by The Daily Line.

Housing committee passes changes to 2015 Affordable Requirements Ordinance, OKs land transfer to Blackhawks: “The City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate approved a transfer of former city land between Rush University Medical Center and the Chicago Blackhawks and an amendment (O2023-1386) to the 2015 Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) during its Tuesday morning meeting,” by The Daily Line.

FEDERAL

Beltway Briefing: From a New York Courtroom to the Taiwan Strait

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Rodney Davis, and Patrick Martin ponder the legal and political implications of the former President’s arraignment. And, as tensions mount between Washington and Beijing, they also discuss the ramifications of the meeting in California on Wednesday between House Speaker McCarthy and Taiwanese President Tsai.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.

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