Illinois governor Bruce Rauner Credit: Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP File

Welcome to the Reader‘s weekday news briefing for Tuesday, December 12, 2017.

  • Rauner calls on Cook County assessor Joe Berrios to step down; Berrios calls for Rauner to resign

Governor Bruce Rauner and Cook County assessor Joe Berrios are in aggressive war of words. Rauner called for Berrios to resign Monday morning, and the Berrios campaign quickly responded saying that Rauner should “do the people of Illinois a favor—he should admit that he has failed as governor and resign.” Rauner isn’t the only person saying Berrios should step down. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy called for his resignation last week after a report stated that Berrios has not assessed thousands of Cook County properties. “This system has to change, and it’s got to start with the resignation of Joe Berrios. Joe has to go,” Rauner said. “He is a core feeder of this rigged corrupt system. Joe Berrios, Mike Madigan and J.B. Pritzker are the unholy trinity of collusion, corruption, conflicts of interest in our property tax system.”  [Sun-Times]

  • Emanuel: Six potential rivals in 2019 mayoral race have said no

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is getting ready for a heated mayoral race in 2019, and he’s still confident about his reelection chances despite a rocky and controversial second term in office. “We know six people said ‘No,’ ” Emanuel told the Tribune. “Everything else is conjecture and thumb-sucking.” The six erstwhile potential rivals are Illinois attorney general Lisa Madigan, Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County sheriff Tom Dart, former governor Pat Quinn, state senator Kwame Raoul, and Cook County commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Only one candidate has officially decided to run: Chicago Principals & Administrators Association head Troy LaRaviere. Former Chicago Police Department superintendent Garry McCarthy, McDonald’s franchise owner Willie Wilson, and Cook County commissioner Bridget Gainer are still seriously considering running. Emanuel had a huge fund-raising advantage in 2015 and spent three times more than rival Garcia. “I really have no idea what the budget will be. Look, I’ve run six times . . . I’m six-for-six. I’ll have the resources,” the mayor said about the 2019 race. “The biggest undervalued part of politics is ideas . . . resources financially matter and so do your ideas.” [Tribune]

  • More than 630 homicides have taken place in Chicago in 2017

There had been at least 636 homicides in Chicago in 2017 as of Monday, according to the Tribune. The violence has significantly decreased since 2016, but it’s still a large increase compared to the years 2004 through 2015. [Tribune]

  • Former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to join University of Chicago

Former White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett is joining the University of Chicago Law School as a distinguished senior fellow at the law school. “The University of Chicago has been a part of my family since my mother received her master’s there,” Jarrett said. Her job starts January 1, and she will be there for an “open-ended” amount of time. [Sun-Times]

  • Eataly’s Mario Batali steps down from food empire due to sexual misconduct allegations

Celebrity chef Mario Batali, who among many other things brought the Italian food emporium Eataly to Chicago and New York City, is stepping away from his restaurant and food empire because of sexual misconduct allegations. Eater has rounded up some of the largely unsurprised reactions from the foodie world. [Eater Chicago]

  • Texas-based Snap Kitchen is leaving Chicago after three years

Snap Kitchen is closing its five Chicago locations and two kiosks inside Whole Foods locations December 14. The chain, based in Austin, Texas, and focused on healthy quick-service fare, opened in Chicago in 2014. [Eater Chicago]