Mayor Rahm Emanuel tapped a veteran of the Department of Streets and Sanitation to head to the department that manages street cleaning, garbage and recycling pickup, while County Assessor hopeful Fritz Kaegi picked up a major progressive endorsement.
- Local Sanders Group Endorses Kaegi – Kaegi, candidate for Cook County Assessor against incumbent Joe Berrios, received the endorsement of the Illinois Chapter of Our Revolution, the group continuing the mission of the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign on Wednesday. Comm. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-7) and Cook County Clerk David Orr, who have both already endorsed Kaegi, were both on hand, as was Executive Director Clem Balanoff at the Hotel Allegro, a location Hotel Allegro, a symbolic location for old Chicago power. On Monday at petition filing, Kaegi hinted such a big name endorsement was on the way. “People are grabbing our petitions out of our hands to sign them, including in the 31st ward,” said Kaegi. Ward 31 is Berrios’ own political home base. Kaegi said he turned in more than 22,000 signatures for verification. “Fritz will fight for the working families of Cook County, vows to eliminate the regressive and racist ‘Berrios Tax’ — and will work tirelessly to correct the current unjust property tax assessment system,” Our Revolution IL’s Facebook announcement read. It’s the first Illinois endorsement the group has made.
- Leadership Shuffle At Streets And San – Emanuel announced Wednesday morning he appointed “John Tully, a 23-year-veteran of the City of Chicago, as the new Commissioner of the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS).” Tully will replaces Charles Williams, “who plans to retire,” effective immediately. Williams, a former police officer, oversaw the city’s switch to grid trash collection, “which accounts for nearly $30 million of operational savings each year” and freed up crews to work on graffiti, tree trimming, and rat complaints. Tully first joined Streets and San as fiscal administrator in 1994, then through a series of positions at the Bureau of Sanitation, and most recently as first deputy commissioner. Tully’s appointment is subject to City Council approval, but he serve as interim in the meantime.
- Beverage Tax Opponents To Celebrate – The “Can the Tax” coalition, a group of business interests who worked to repeal Cook County’s sweetened beverage tax, will “toast the end” of the tax at a press event this Friday. The penny per ounce tax pushed up the price of a 12 pack of soda by $1.44. Revenues from the tax “With the beverage tax gone, the group will declare ‘Cook County is open for business,’ and urge county residents and consumers to come back to Cook County to shop and eat in their stores and restaurants,” a release sent Wednesday says. The event will take place at Food Market La Chiquita in Cicero. Shop owners said the combination of the sales tax, bag tax, cigarette and gas taxes, and beverage tax were pushing customers outside the county for their shopping. 15 of 17 Cook County commissioners voted in October to sunset the beverage tax at the end of the 2017 fiscal year, Nov. 30. Comm. Richard Boykin (D-1) and Comm. Peter Silvestri (R-9), who both voted for the repeal, will attend.
- A Battle Begins In Cook County’s 7th District – Alex Acevedo, a pediatric nurse and the son of former State Rep. Eddie Acevedo, turned in signatures for Cook County’s 7th District race Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after current Comm. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia formally announced he’d be running for Congress. Acevedo, who according to his LinkedIn directed Latino outreach for Gov. Pat Quinn’s 2014 race and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2015 race, lost his own bid to replace his father as state Representative for the Second District to Theresa Mah in 2016. His father expressed interest in taking on Sheriff Tom Dart in the 2018 Democratic primary, and has received a $5,000 donation from the PAC that represents correctional officers at the jail, but has not yet submitted his petitions.
- Council’s Econ Committee Cancels Meeting – City Council’s Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development meeting set for today has been rescheduled for Dec. 11. The agenda included four resolutions in support of four property tax breaks in the 34th, 25th, 23rd, and 11th wards. On Tuesday, Committee Chair Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1) of Wicker Park announced plans to challenge Garcia for U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez’s seat. Moreno, and everyone else vying for the seat, has until Monday to file signatures to get on the ballot.