Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the Chicago City Council meeting on December 14 Credit: Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Friday, December 23, 2016. Happy holidays!

  • Weather: Rain and/or snow possible

Friday is supposed to be rainy, with a high of 37 and a low of 33. Showers of rain and/or snow are possible in the afternoon and evening. [AccuWeather]

  • Surprise: Mayor Rahm Emanuel releases e-mails, bans use of private e-mail for city business

Mayor Rahm Emanuel surprised Chicagoans by releasing a collection of his e-mails from a Gmail account and another personal e-mail account, The mayor also introduced a ban on city workers “using their private or other non-city email accounts for the transaction of public business.” There are some interesting tidbits in the e-mails that the Better Government Association and the Tribune have been fighting to access for more than a year. Emanuel “often used his private email accounts to pitch stories to journalists at the New York Times and to New Yorker magazine editor David Remnick,” according to the Sun-Times. He also wrote “I love you a lot” in a 2011 e-mail to now-governor Bruce Rauner. [Sun-Times] [Tribune]

  • “Bored, broke and armed”: Going inside gang life with the New York Times

The vast majority of the nearly 3,500 shootings in the city so far in 2016 are gang related, according to authorities. The New York Times explores the realities of gang life in Chicago by profiling a few members in the months after a truce between gangs was reached at New Beginnings Church in June. “But if we’re sitting here bored, getting high and we got guns around, it ain’t nothing else to do,” a Black Disciple member told the paper. [New York Times]

  • Outgoing senator Mark Kirk says the GOP is now “one and the same with Donald Trump”

Republican senator Mark Kirk is getting ready to leave office after losing his seat to Democratic U.S. representative Tammy Duckworth in the November election. A longtime vocal critic of president-elect Donald Trump and a self-proclaimed member of the “moderate middle,” Kirk says that the Republican Party is changing. “I think now the party is one and the same with Donald Trump—that the moderate establishment that I represented very much has a distance from the president-elect,” he told the Tribune. He finds the polarized politics of today “frustrating, saying, “There is truth in both parties. Democrats are true in being socially tolerant. Republicans are true in being so fiscally conservative. And that is a necessary balance for the country to move forward in the 22nd century,” he said. [Tribune]

  • Ex-Congressman Aaron Schock wants his corruption trial delayed until July

Former U.S. representative Aaron Schock and his legal team are asking to delay his corruption trial until July because they are not prepared, according to Politico. “The government has not informed the defendant of the identity of the 100 potential witnesses, and the government has not as of this time provided the defendant with any discovery related to these potential witnesses,” his attorneys wrote in a filing. The Republican politician from Peoria was indicted on 24 criminal counts in November. [Politico]

  • Mavis Staples gives personal interview, “felt empty” after Prince’s death

Music legend Mavis Staples jumped and wanted to do a cartwheel when she heard that she’d receive a Kennedy Center Honors award this year. “I never thought—I never dreamed—that they would call me, that they would honor me. I’m just Mavis. These are giants,” she told WBEZ in an interview. Other tidbits: Losing fellow music icon Prince was tough for the soul and gospel singer. “I couldn’t believe it. I could not get myself together. My heart, I just felt empty,” she said. [WBEZ]