Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (9/19)

September 19, 2022


Nearly 200,000 Illinoisans have received the updated COVID booster, by WBEZ.

IDPH Reports Strong Demand in Illinois for Updated Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccinations, from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.


Gov. Pritzker appoints Dr. Steven Isoye to serve as Chair of the Illinois State Board of Education

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday the appointment of Dr. Steven Isoye as Chair of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) effective immediately, pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

Dr. Isoye is a retired teacher and former superintendent of Niles Township High School. He holds degrees in biology, educational administration, and educational leadership from Northern Illinois University and a degree in curriculum from Concordia University.

Isoye has also served as chair and vice chair of the board of trustees at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, and as a member of ISBE’s State Assessment Review Committee, Illinois Association of School Administrators COVID SWAT Team, and ISBE’s Performance Evaluation Advisory Committee.

This appointment awaits confirmation by the Illinois Senate.


Gov. Pritzker Announces Formation of Midwest Hydrogen Coalition: “Illinois joined six other Midwestern states in announcing the development of the Midwest Hydrogen Coalition, an agreement that will boost the state’s decarbonization efforts. In addition to Illinois, the coalition includes Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

‘Elections matter:’ VP Harris joins Pritzker, other officials in Chicago to discuss abortion rights: “A day after Indiana officially banned abortion, adding to the strain Illinois abortion providers were already feeling from an influx of out-of-state patients, Vice President Kamala Harris visited Chicago Friday to shine a spotlight on Illinois’ position as one of the only abortion providers in the Midwest,” by The Daily Line.

Illinois Democrats enlist help from VP Harris to boost Democratic turnout in ‘Roe-vember’: “Midterm elections often yield losses for the party that controls the White House. But with an electorate angry over the overturning of Roe v. Wade and Republican candidates taking hard-right approaches, Vice President Kamala Harris and Illinois Democrats are pushing voters to the polls to defeat candidates they believe are too extreme,” by The Daily Line.

Gov. Pritzker Announces Seven Appointments to Boards and Commissions, Authorities, from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

State Sen. Michael Hastings, whose wife accused him of domestic violence, faces mounting political, personal issues: “The state spent nearly $150,000 to settle a civil discrimination case involving the Frankfort Democrat. But Hastings faces serious new personal accusations from his estranged wife that threaten to derail his once-promising political career,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.


Mayor Lightfoot names Timmy Knudsen as new 43rd ward alderman 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced today Timmy Knudsen to serve as the new alderman for the 43rd ward, representing parts of Lincoln Park, the Gold Coast, and Old Town.

“Timmy Knudsen has singled himself out as an exceptional leader in the 43rd ward community,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “His passion for connecting with his neighbors and encouraging hope, energy, and opportunity for Chicago residents makes him uniquely situated to serve as Alderman.”

Knudsen replaces former Ald. Michele Smith, who retired in mid-August. His nomination heads to the City Council Rules Committee and, if approved, to the full City Council for a vote.

If confirmed, Knudsen will be Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s third appointee to the City Council this year, but the first since the 2023 municipal campaign season kicked off.

Committee approves Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety nomination, sends vote to full City Council 

The City Council Committee on Public Safety approved Inspector General Deborah Witzburg’s nomination (A2022-127) of Tobara Richardson during a committee meeting Friday.

After leaving the post last November to pursue the role of Inspector General, Witzburg launched a national search May 31 to fill the position. Witzburg nominated Richardson in August.

Richardson is currently Counsel to the Illinois Attorney General on Social Justice and Equity and has “more than a decade of experience as a criminal prosecutor, having worked both as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County and an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois,” according to an August news release from Witzburg’s office.

Richardson’s inspector general for public safety nomination awaits a full City Council vote Wednesday.


Committee sends deputy inspector general for public safety nomination to full City Council for approval: “Tobara Richardson is one step closer to becoming the city’s new deputy inspector general for public safety following approval from a key committee last week. The City Council Committee on Public Safety approved Inspector General Deborah Witzburg’s nomination (A2022-127) of Richardson and discussed vacant civilian positions within the police department being filled with sworn officers,” by The Daily Line.

Finance committee to consider $25.9M in payments to settle lawsuits against CPD, the city: “The City Council Committee on Finance is scheduled to consider paying $25.9 million for four settlements, three of which are related to the Chicago Police Department including a $15 million payment to the family of a woman who was killed during a police chase in 2020. The finance committee will consider the four proposed payments, the issuance of tax increment financing and multi-family revenue bonds for various proposals during its 10 a.m. meeting Monday,” by The Daily Line.

Poll shows Congressman Garcia in strong starting position if he runs for Chicago mayor: “The poll was commissioned by the Nuestro PAC, a national political action committee that’s urging U.S. Rep. Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia to run against Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other contenders,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

Northwestern’s $130 Million Bronzeville Clinic, 43 Green And Black-Owned Dispensary Get Key City Backing: “Four projects on the Near South Side are one step closer to reality, potentially bringing a health care center, plus businesses and homes to the area. The City Council will vote on the proposals Wednesday,” by Block Club Chicago.

Lightfoot urges ‘respectful’ celebrations following chaotic night of Mexican Independence Day revelry: “Videos posted to social media showed traffic was at least briefly brought to a standstill on DuSable Lake Shore Drive as drifters spun their wheels near Soldier Field and the Museum Campus,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.


Beltway Briefing: How the “Trump Effect” Will Play Out in Upcoming Elections

The 2022 midterm elections will be incredibly consequential. While it’s conventional wisdom that the House will flip to Republican control, 35 U.S. Senate seats and 36 governorships are also up for grabs.

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Patrick Martin, and Kaitlyn Martin discuss Trump’s political influence and other potential factors affecting voters in November. And with just over two years to go until the 2024 presidential election, they discuss the issue seemingly on every voter’s mind: who will throw their hats in the ring for what is already shaping up to be one of the most heated political races in American history.

You can listen to this and any of the previous Beltway Briefing podcast episodes here.


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