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Afternoon Edition: Oct. 29, 2021

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22nd) speaks during a special City Council meeting today about repealing the vaccine mandate for city workers. 
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will bring showers along with a high near 55 degrees. The rain is expected to continue tonight with a low around 51. Tomorrow will be cloudy with isolated showers early on then become gradually more sunny with a high near 58.

Top story

City Council rejects effort to repeal city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate

An effort to breathe life back into ordinances seeking to scuttle the city’s vaccine mandate failed today by a vote of 30-13 in Chicago’s City Council.

The vote came after more than a dozen City Council members who are among the police union’s staunchest supporters called for the special City Council meeting to consider an ordinance seeking to repeal the vaccine mandate being fought tooth-and-nail by the Fraternal Order of Police.

Earlier this week, the repeal ordinance championed by Alderpersons Silvana Tabares (23rd) and Anthony Napolitano (41st) was shunted to the Rules Committee, where ordinances opposed by the mayor often go to die.

Tabares told the Sun-Times she wasn’t giving up and made good on that promise Wednesday when she joined Napolitano, embattled Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th), indicted Ald. Edward Burke (14th), Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) and a host of other police allies on the Council in calling the special meeting to consider the ordinance seeking to repeal the vaccine mandate.

In all, 13 alderpersons joined the call for the special meeting.

Two vaccine-related ordinances were introduced Monday. Both were shunted to the Rules Committee.

The ordinances would have effectively repealed the vaccine mandate that requires city employees to report their vaccination status and, if they’re not vaccinated, submit to regular testing until the Jan. 1 vaccine deadline.

Mitch Dudek has more on the failed ordinance here.

More news you need

  1. An Iraq war vet from Illinois has won a class-action suit against the Navy to upgrade his less-than-honorable discharge and receive VA benefits after his now-diagnosed PTSD went untreated and he was instead flagged for behavioral problems. Tyson Manker’s case could potentially help thousands of other vets with similar experiences.
  2. Hours after Democrats in Springfield approved a congressional remap putting Democratic Reps. Marie Newman and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia in the same district, Newman announced today that she will instead run against Rep. Sean Casten. Newman, a freshman rep from La Grange, will run in the new 6th District, which contains about 40% of her current 3rd District, including portions of several wards in Chicago.
  3. Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger made his own big candidacy announcement today, declaring that he will not seek another term. Kinzinger has often pushed against Trumpism and is one of two GOP House members on the Jan. 6 investigation committee.
  4. Illinois schools saw higher rates of chronic absenteeism and lower test scores during the 2020-21 school year, though graduation rates remained steady, according to data made public today. The data shows the significant impact of the pandemic on student enrollment, attendance and academic achievement.
  5. The Illini, Ramblers and other Illinois college sports teams soon could be on the board for bettors at casinos statewide under a measure passed yesterday by lawmakers in Springfield. The bill heading to Gov. Pritzker’s desk would eliminate a ban on wagers on in-state college teams.
  6. CPS elementary school teacher Olga Quiroga, who died a year ago from COVID-19, was remembered yesterday at a ceremony unveiling new street signs honoring her. Family and friends gathered for the ceremony outside Funston Elementary School, where Quiroga last taught.
  7. The Union Stockyards on the South Side had defined Chicago as the “hog butcher to the world.” Now, 50 years after its closing, the “Yards” will once again be a manufacturing haven — of a fungi-based protein. Nature’s Fynd announced it’s bringing the product — known as “Fy” — to Chicagoans, along with a 200,000-foot addition of manufacturing space to come in 2022.

A bright one

In Pilsen, an artist uses an iconic Aztec warrior figure to symbolize stages of life

“It’s all about the evolution,” Chicago muralist Mauricio Ramirez says of his latest work, titled “Pilsen Warrior Mural.”

The mural, which spans the side of an apartment building at 1541 W. 18th St., features three brightly colored figures at different stages of life.

A young child gazes up at a teenage boy wearing a Mexican serape. And there’s an Aztec eagle warrior — a figure from the ancient culture, seen in an eagle headdress and carrying a decorated shield — who collected sacrifices for the gods, including Huitzilopochtli, the Mexican god of war, also often depicted as an eagle.

Mauricio Ramirez combined images of a young boy and an Aztec eagle warrior in his “Pilsen Warrior Mural.” The mural at 1541 W. 18th St. is meant to portray evolution and to honor the iconic figure.
Provided

The mural “talks about evolution and generations, how certain traditions get passed down,” he says.

Ramirez, 32, says he divided the mural into triangular sections and left some of those spaces at street level open for passers-by to help paint.

“A lot of my approach to public art is getting the community involved,” he says. “For this mural, I wanted them to come out, to ultimately give them ownership of the work that’s going up.”

Amelia Ickes has more on the story behind the mural here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

If you could commission a mural honoring one Chicagoan, who would you choose and where would you have it painted?

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday we asked you: Say you’ve been tasked with making a pandemic time capsule to be dug up in 50 years — what would you put in it?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Definitely a picture of Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic. They were basically the kick-off of the lockdown nightmare.” — Howie Corwin-Kent

“The top 25 selling musical albums released in 2020 — music helped so many people mentally throughout quarantine, and it’s one of the only things we still had while locked inside.” — Joe Duhownik

“I’d put in a face mask, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, pajamas, pics of the desolate city and Lakefront, a Black Lives Matter protest sign and wine.” — Tami Goldmann

“Masks, hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes and toilet paper. Because it’s everything that was in demand. Not only not that, if there should be a pandemic in 50 years there’s a stash.” — Jackie Waldhier

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