Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Monday, November 27, 2017.
- When Chicago’s school closing moratorium ends in 2018, will Chicago close 50 more schools?
Chicago’s moratorium on school closings ends in 2018, and given Chicago Public Schools’ “plummeting enrollment” and “more than 100 half-empty school buildings,” another wave of school closings is possible, according to WBEZ. Over the last five years, the district has lost 32,000 students, enough to fill 53 CPS schools. The city closed 50 schools in 2013 following a similar drop in enrollment, but it’s considered unlikely that Mayor Rahm Emanuel would close that many schools at once again. WBEZ analyzes enrollment patterns and looks at possible school closings. [WBEZ]
- J.B. Pritzker’s plan to rebuild the Illinois Democratic Party
Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker plans to rebuild the Illinois Democratic Party if he wins the 2018 governor’s race, the billionaire businessman told Crain’s Chicago Business in an editorial board interview. Illinois Democrats don’t meet to endorse candidates, and there’s not a unified field organization. “There really is no Illinois Democratic Party,” he said. “The Democratic Party doesn’t exist. I believe we need to build a real Democratic Party in Illinois when it comes to field.” Pritzker also discussed Illinois house speaker Michael Madigan and possible term limits on legislative leadership, pension payments (Pritzker has vowed not to cut them), new revenue (he favors a progressive state income tax), and more with the Crain’s editorial board. [Crain’s Chicago Business]
- Black Friday Magnificent Mile protests smaller than in previous years
Protesters took to the Magnificent Mile Friday to protest police brutality and other issues, but in smaller numbers than in past years, according to the Sun-Times. About 150 protesters were out, far less than the hundreds of people who nearly shut down Michigan Avenue in 2015 following the release of police dashcam video showing Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times. “There are almost more police out here than there are of us! To protect what? Profit,” protester Jeff Baker said to the crowd. [Sun-Times]
- Former police accountability chief, mayor’s office spar over funding
Sharon Fairley, the former head of the city’s Community Office of Police Accountability, and the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel have been sparring over COPA funding, NBC Chicago reports. Fairley, who’s running in the Democratic primary for attorney general, expressed her concern that COPA does not get enough funding. “I’m not trying to pick a fight here,” she said. “In my professional opinion, after spending two years running the agencies, I feel this budget is inadequate.” Emanuel’s office quickly responded, saying that Fairley hadn’t criticized funding when she was in charge of the office, but “I’m not going to be baited by him,” she said. “I’m just trying to give the benefit of my professional experience to the citizens of Chicago.” [NBC Chicago]
- Riverwalk season ends as City Winery closes for the winter
City Winery on the RiverWalk, the last of the restaurants open along the path, closed its doors for winter Sunday, ending the Chicago RiverWalk’s season. [Sun-Times]