Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (7/20)

July 20, 2022


COVID Update: IL reports 3,805 new cases, 10 deaths; Cook County in ‘high’ transmission, CDC says. From ABC 7 Chicago. 

Monkeypox concern grows as virus spreads in Chicago: ‘They need to get loud about this’:Chicago public health officials reported 173 monkeypox cases on Monday — up from 105 last week — and with vaccines scarce and hard to find, alarm is growing among doctors and those in the gay community that the city is not doing enough to address the spread,” by The Chicago Tribune. 


Governor J.B. Pritzker tests positive for COVID-19

Officials say the governor is experiencing mild symptoms after receiving a positive test during a routine COVID testing regimen on Tuesday; he has been prescribed the antiviral medication, Paxlovid. 

Gov. Pritzker tested positive just days after traveling to Florida to deliver a speech at a fundraiser for Florida Democrats, once again sparking rumors that the governor is considering a presidential campaign run. 

Pritzker is vaccinated and double-boosted, and he “urges all Illinoisans to continue following CDC guidance, utilize anti-viral treatments, and get all available boosters.” 


Pritzker takes $60M lead over Bailey into general election season: “Quarterly financial records filed by the campaigns Friday show Bailey posted $363,918 in his campaign account after spending millions to trounce Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin in the Republican primary for governor on June 28. By contrast, Pritzker has almost entirely self-funded his 2022 campaign and still has millions of dollars to spend, even after spending $27.1 million during the primary race,” by The Daily Line. 

Pritzker on DeSantis: He’s ‘Trump with a mask’: “Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker delivered a fiery speech to Florida Democrats Saturday in Tampa, equating Gov. Ron DeSantis to former President Donald Trump and condemning the national GOP on issues related to abortion and guns,” by Illinois PolitiCo Playbook. 

Longtime Kane County Board member will not seek recount in Republican primary loss: “The Kane County Board’s longest-serving board member won’t be moving on to the November election. Final vote tallies show Barbara Wojnicki, who has represented her district for 24 years, lost the Republican primary by 11 votes to David Young,” by The Daily Herald. 

Nearly 2 years after the Stephen Douglas statue was removed, a review of the statues at the Illinois Capitol mulls next steps: “Nearly 2 years after the Stephen Douglas statue was removed, a review of the statues at the Illinois Capitol mulls next steps,” The Daily Line. 

—  U.S. Rep. Casten is significantly better funded than GOP rival Pekau, records show: “Fresh off a decisive Democratic primary win in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Sean Casten of Downers Grove finished June with a campaign war chest more than 10 times the size of Republican challenger Keith Pekau’s, records show,” by The Daily Herald. 

Irvin outspent and out-raised Republican opponents by millions: “Records show Irvin spent $40.5 million during the final months of the campaign after raising $30.3 million during the same time frame. Irvin raised thousands from individual donors, but nearly all of his campaign’s fortune came from former Chicago billionaire Ken Griffin,” by The Daily Line. 


Ethics measure cruises to approval, aldermen reject ordinance to raise speed camera threshold at July City Council meeting

During their July City Council meeting, Chicago aldermen approved an ordinance (O2022-2064) from Ald. Michele Smith (43) and the Chicago Board of Ethics to overhaul the city’s lobbying ethics regulations. Among other provisions, the measure increases the limit on ethics violations fines from $5,000 to $20,000, limits former aldermen from lobbying on council floors during meetings, and expands rules against nepotism. 

Aldermen also rejected a proposal from Ald. Anthony Beale (9) to raise Chicago’s speed camera fine threshold from 6 MPH over the limit to 10 MPH – handing Mayor Lori Lightfoot a decisive political win. 

More information on notable ordinances introduced and approved will be posted here. 


Lightfoot hints strongly at veto if Chicago City Council raises threshold for speed camera tickets: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot hinted strongly at it on Monday, two days before a long-stalled City Council showdown on the volatile issue of how fast motorists can drive before getting a speed-camera ticket in Chicago,” by The Chicago Sun-Times. 

Transit-focused housing ordinance clears committee as skeptical aldermen seek assurances on predictability — and blast CTA: “A years-in-the-making policy push to lay the groundwork for denser housing construction near the city’s transit nodes cleared a key committee hurdle after a marathon meeting on Tuesday, setting it up for final passage by the City Council during its meeting on Wednesday,” The Daily Line. 

Finance committee approves bonds for affordable housing developments as aldermen push for diversity in contracting:While aldermen on Monday gave a first OK to nearly $100 million in bonds for affordable housing developments throughout the city, they also pushed city leaders to ensure minority-owned companies are working on the development projects,” The Daily Line. 

Past redlining practices linked to present-day abandoned properties in Cook County, new report says: “A new report released Tuesday from Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas links racially discriminatory practices to today’s vacant and abandoned properties,” by The Chicago Sun-Times. 

CHA to consider leasing public housing land to CPS for new Near South Side high school: “The former Harold Ickes site has been vacant since 2010, and now Chicago Housing Authority officials are looking to lease the land to CPS. South Side residents say low-income housing promises made to the Black community by elected officials have gone by the wayside,” by The Chicago Sun-Times. 

Aldermen vote to ban water shutoffs, crack down on abandoned cars on vacant lots as compromise brews for City Council legal counsel: “A City Council committee advanced a proposal on Monday to let city workers tow abandoned cars and trucks that are left to rust on privately owned vacant lots. The City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations also voted to push forward a near-total ban on water shutoffs, a measure empowering aldermen to help protect against flooding and an infusion of more than $14 million in new grant funds into the city’s budget,” The Daily Line. 

$70M expansion of homelessness initiatives will reach just 2% of the population that needs it, officials say: “Chicago leaders are seizing on tens of millions of dollars in federal cash to expand the city’s homeless shelter network, but they acknowledged the endeavor will still only reach a fraction of Chicago’s population experiencing homelessness,” The Daily Line. 


Cozen Currents: 2024’s Bull Market for Presidential Candidates

  • It may be a bear market on Wall Street but it’s a bull market for 2024 presidential ambitions. Even if they don’t pull the lever and run, would-be candidates, left and right, need to begin the pre-presidential dance now.
  • The trend of hyperpolarization in US politics extends beyond Washington, DC to the states and even to the C-suite. Corporations are not immune from politics, and this dynamic can create challenges for business leaders and shareholders.
  • In the twenty-first century, national emergency declarations are in the eye of the chief executive, who, in this case, is President Joe Biden. But their easy access does not guarantee action.

Read the full update here


House to vote to protect same-sex and interracial marriages in push back against court: “The House is set to vote to protect same-sex and interracial marriages, a direct confrontation with the Supreme Court, whose conservative majority in overturning Roe v. Wade abortion access has sparked concerns that other rights enjoyed by countless Americans may be in jeopardy,” by Fox 32 Chicago. 


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