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News Around Illinois – July 21, 2020

The latest news around the state, for July 21, 2020.

House Progressive Caucus Weighs In On Madigan, ComEd

CHICAGO (AP) — Members of the Illinois House of Representatives’ progressive caucus said Monday longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan must resign if allegations of a bribery scheme involving utility ComEd are true. The 12 caucus members said the allegations disclosed Friday by federal prosecutors in Chicago are “an unacceptable breach of public trust.” They called on Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, and any other elected officials involved in the scheme to step down “if these allegations are true.” – Associated Press

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Asks Trump Not To Send Federal Agents, Saying It Would ‘Spell Disaster’

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is asking President Donald Trump not to send federal agents to the city, instead imploring him to help the city address violent crime by cracking down on the proliferation of illegal guns across the country, according to a letter obtained by WBEZ late Monday. The four-page letter addressed to Trump Monday and signed by Lightfoot urges the Republican president to provide meaningful support — instead of playing “games.” “What we do not need, and what will certainly make our community less safe is secret, federal agents deployed to Chicago. Any other form of militarized assistance within our borders that would not be within our control or within the direct command of the Chicago Police Department would spell disaster,” the mayor writes. Lightfoot writes that she was responding to a letter he sent in June, but also to recent “statements from you and members of your Administration regarding offers of federal assistance.” – Claudia Morell – WBEZ

Illinois Teachers’ Union Wants Remote Learning To Start School Year

With just a few weeks to go before some schools are set to begin their fall semester, the Illinois Federation of Teachers issued a recommendation on Monday that called for students to begin the academic year learning remotely. It is part of a larger union statement on the new school year. IFT President Dan Montgomery said the rising number of coronavirus cases is a a cause for concern. Montgomery said some schools may be able to maintain safety measures like social distancing. “If that can happen, that’s a good thing,” said Montgomery. “That is an extremely rare occurrence in our experience.” – Sean Crawford – WUIS

Kanye West, Leonard Peltier And Others File For The Fall Ballot In Illinois

Rapper Kanye West was among those submitting petitions for the fall ballot Illinois on the final day for independent and third party candidates to file. West said he is running for president. But he has missed the deadline to file in several states. While he was on time in Illinois, filing does not guarantee a spot on the ballot. Pettitions can be challenged for the number of signatures and their validity. West did not have a vice presidential candidate file with him. Another well known name among those filing is imprisoned political activist Leonard Peltier. He is a vice-presidential candidate on a third party ticket. Peltier is serving a life sentence for the killings of two FBI agents on an Indian reservation in 1975. The Illinois Libertarian Party and other third parties are fielding more candidates in legislative races this year. – Bill Wheelhouse – WUIS

Tammy Duckworth’s Stock Rises As A Possible VP Choice After High-Profile Weeks

In combat and in Congress, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth has seen a lot of firsts. She was the first female soldier to lose both her legs in the Iraq War. She was the first Thai American woman elected to Congress. And she was the first U.S. senator to give birth while in office. Now she may become the first Asian American woman nominated to be vice president for a major party in the United States. But she remains diplomatic when asked about the pressure Joe Biden is facing to pick an African American woman. “I think that even just choosing a woman is a powerful signal that Joe Biden has made,” Duckworth told NPR’s All Things Considered earlier this month. As Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, nears the announcement of his running mate, Duckworth’s political stock has risen. – Claudia Grisales – NPR

Planning Continues for C.T. Vivian Center in Macomb

Local leaders held a brief wreath laying ceremony over the weekend at the property where the Reverend C.T. Vivian grew up in Macomb. The lot in the 700 block of East Adams Street is currently empty but there are still plans to use that space to honor the late civil rights leader. The idea of building a center of civic and social engagement was announced nearly two years ago, and Byron Oden-Shabazz, President of the McDonough County Branch of the NAACP, said that’s still the plan. – Rich Egger – WIUM

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