Activists and city residents packed the Chicago Temple Building on Wednesday evening to push back against Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's fiscal policies, which have led to budget cuts and an ongoing state budget impasse.
Tracey Abman, associate director of AFSCME Council 31, kicked off the night with a spirited attack on Rauner's administration, particularly targeting his decisions on how to allocate state funds.
Abman said the state is "broke on purpose," adding that Rauner is the reason why the state is broken. The audience erupted into a chorus of boo's at the mention of the governor's name.
As the March 15 primary election nears, the controversy surrounding the 2014 police shooting death of Laquan McDonald refuses to let up. On Tuesday, just a week before the primary election, lawsuits were filed against the Chicago Police Department, the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), and the office of Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, who is facing a tough re-election bid, for more information on the case.
Specifically, the suit is calling on the police department, IPRA and Alvarez to release their respective records on the McDonald investigation. The lawsuit was filed by independent journalist Brandon Smith, who -- with the help of the Invisible Institute's Jamie Kalven -- pressed for what was the eventual public release of the police dash-cam video of the McDonald shooting.
Smith says the timing of the lawsuit serves a dual purpose in light of the upcoming election.
Illinois now has several new laws in effect aimed at keeping teens out of the state prison system. One group is praising one change in particular, which could affect some of Illinois' youngest residents.