Todd Stroger Credit: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Tuesday, December 5, 2017. 

  • Stroger drops out of race for Cook County Board president

Two weeks after announcing his entry, former Cook County Board president Todd Stroger is dropping out of the 2018 race for his old job against incumbent board president Toni Preckwinkle and is running for Water Reclamation District instead. His campaign acknowledged that it hadn’t been able to gather the number of signatures it estimated would be required. “He’s not running and it’s just became the challenge of gathering 25,000 signatures in order to withstand a challenge from one of our opponents would have been very taxing on the campaign,” campaign spokesman Sean Howard said. “And you need 8,000 [valid signatures] but you have to turn in quite a few more [signatures], right at the 25,000 mark, which he gave himself as an internal goal. We didn’t quite reach the 25,000.” Stroger did have enough petition signatures to run for the Water Reclamation District. “So he’s very content, happy and satisfied to run for Water Reclamation District because he wants to do a good job,” Howard said. [Sun-Times]

  • Obama returns to Chicago Tuesday for Emanuel climate change meeting

Former president Barack Obama will be in Chicago Tuesday to speak at Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s two-day climate change conference. Mayors from North American cities will sign the Chicago Climate Charter pledging to reduce emissions and make their cities more environmentally friendly. “President Obama helped lead the fight against climate change with bold and decisive action, and we are honored he will be joining the North American Climate Summit where local leaders from around the world will make meaningful commitments to climate solutions,” Emanuel said. [Tribune]

  • Rauner: I’m “not in charge” of Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner claims he is “not in charge” of Illinois despite having been governor nearly three years. He told reporters at an Illinois Farm Bureau conference that Illinois house speaker Mike Madigan is the real leader of the state, and that the state would be in much better shape if he had control instead: “I wish I had. We would have our problems fixed. Illinois would be on a great future,” he said. “We’d have 200,000 more jobs in this state, we would have lower property taxes in this state, we would have term limits in this state, if I was in charge. I am not in charge. I’m trying to get to be in charge.” Steve Brown, a spokesman for Madigan, said he didn’t know “what to make” of the claim. “If he’s not in charge, we’d better figure out who is,” he said. [Tribune]

  • CPS plans to add three new magnet schools and two “classical model” schools

Chicago Public Schools has announced plans to “open two new ‘classical model’ schools, turn two open-enrollment neighborhood schools into citywide magnet STEM programs and add another magnet program at a neighborhood school in Pilsen,” according to the Sun-Times. The two new schools will be located in former CPS school locations in Bronzeville and on the southwest side. [Sun-Times]

  • East Garfield Park residents concerned after two shootings in the same intersection in less than 24 hours

Residents of East Garfield Park are concerned after two shootings took place near Central Park Avenue and Jackson Boulevard within 16 hours over the weekend. WBEZ got a reporter, photographer, and a poet together to reflect on the shootings and its effect on nearby residents. [WBEZ]

  • The first vegan “butcher” and deli in Chicago could open in 2018

Ashouraita Khoshaba and Cole Bright are hoping to open a vegan “butcher” and deli in Chicago in the spring or summer of 2018. Called the Anti Butcher, the restaurant (which is currently raising money via Kickstarter) would serve faux meat using vegan ingredients, according to Eater Chicago. [Eater Chicago]