Afternoon Edition: May 13, 2022

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

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Sue Pritzker holds up one-year-old son Jay Robert Pritzker, the future Gov. J.B. Pritzker, in 1966 photo.

Family photo

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.

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Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.

This afternoon will be sunny with a high near 90 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms and a low near 65. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy, also with a chance of thunderstorms, and a high near 79. Sunday will be partly sunny with a high near 70 and a chance of thunderstorms as well.

Top story

Marching in mother’s footsteps — Pritzker eyes family legacy as he seeks national leadership role in abortion rights battle

The sadness still shows in J.B. Pritzker’s eyes when he talks about his mother Sue — the woman the governor credits with instilling his early interest in abortion rights and progressive activism.

It’s been 40 years since his mother, who suffered from alcoholism, was killed in a gruesome car accident when Pritzker was just 17 — just 10 years after his father clutched his chest and died suddenly of a heart attack at age 39.

But Pritzker’s memories of his mother remain vivid even now, especially as he works to elevate his fight for abortion rights to the national stage.

“I view all of what I do to fight for women’s rights and for reproductive rights, and frankly LGBTQ rights, just taking those sets of issues and equity, those are all things that I think my mother would want me to do,” Pritzker told the Chicago Sun-Times during a flight to an event at a southern Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic. “That’s what she was doing. That’s what I want to do and accomplish.”

A California kid in the 1970s, Pritzker frequently attended protest marches with his mother, including demonstrations supporting abortion rights for women.

When you think of a face to represent the struggles women who support abortion rights might face with a Roe v. Wade reversal, you’re probably not thinking of a 57-year-old male billionaire from Chicago. But Pritzker is making it clear he wants to be a leader in this battle.

Under Pritzker, Illinois in 2019 established in state law the right to reproductive health care, including abortion — a measure put in place just in case the landmark case was overturned. And in December, Pritzker signed a measure that repealed the last state law on the books that restricted abortion rights — a law that stopped minors from having to give parental notification before having an abortion.

Tina Sfondeles has more on Pritzker here.

More news you need

  1. Pritzker was on Michigan Avenue’s Gold Coast — the site of repeated, so-called smash-and-grab robberies — today to sign into law a bill that takes aim at such crimes. The governor is familiar with the problem: A smash-and-grab crime ring dumped a cash register just yards from his Gold Coast home earlier this year.
  2. A toddler narrowly escaped injury this morning when a man opened fire on a woman who drove away with the child and crashed a few blocks away in Chatham, Chicago police said. Paramedics took her to the University of Chicago Medical Center in fair condition, while the toddler was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital as a precaution.
  3. United Airlines and its pilots union have reached a tentative agreement on a contract that would give the carrier a promise of labor peace as it readies for the busiest travel season since the start of the pandemic. The Air Line Pilots Association International represents 13,700 pilots at United.
  4. The national touring production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” is arriving in Chicago — and it’s needed now more than ever, the actors said in interviews with Sun-Times. Reworked by “The West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin, the play opens next Tuesday and will run through May 29.
  5. A new Art Institute showcase will focus on artist Paul Cézanne in what is being billed as the first major retrospective devoted to the artist’s work in the United States in more than 25 years. The show runs Sunday through Sept. 5, with 80 paintings, 37 watercolors and drawings, four watercolor boxes and more.

A bright one

In West Side mural, a dancing garden aims to show we all should have a chance to ‘bloom’

At Little Black Pearl Art & Design Academy on the South Side, where he teaches art, Byron Taylor, a Chicago artist known as B’Rael Thunder, tells students, “Community is a garden.”

It’s exactly that in his mural “Sowing Seeds” on an exterior wall at the Westside Justice Center, a free legal clinic at 601 S. California Ave.

He tells students that people come together to form, in essence, an ecosystem.

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“Sowing Seeds,” the mural Byron Taylor, the artist known as B’Rael Thunder, painted for the Westside Justice Center legal aid clinic, 601 S. California Ave. in East Garfield Park.

Robert Herguth/Sun-Times

And, in the mural, they do. He has dancers dressed in yellow and orange, resembling a sunflower. Children seeming to sprout from seeds. Outstretched arms forming a tree. And two people, as roses, meditating.

At the top, he has emblazoned the words “Love is Law.”

Taylor says that, with “Sowing Seeds,” he tried to get across the message that, “no matter which neighborhood” you’re from, all people should have the chance to “bloom into a greater version of ourselves.”

Alec Karam has more on the mural here.

If you enjoy stories like this one and want to learn even more about Chicago’s historic and thriving public art scene, sign up now to get Robert Herguth’s newsletter every Friday!

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What can the city do to make biking better in Chicago?

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: What’s the best way to beat the heat in Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“The lakefront. There’s nothing like a seat in the shade along the lake with a breeze and the beautiful skyline to make you forget it’s hot.” — Bobette Staley

“A local neighborhood bar. The lakefront is always cool.” — Emil Parzygnat

“Go to the library or a fantastic museum. We have plenty by the lake — Adler, Shedd, and Field are some of my favorites.” — Robert Lisowski

“Enjoy every moment of it! The weather is mostly awful 8 months a year.” — Kimberly Canales

“Fill your tub with ice and place a fan directing the cool air to the rest of the house.” — Richard Andrewski

“Going to Mario’s Italian Ice, on Taylor Street.” — Marie Onorato

“Wait a week for it to get cool again.” — Kelly Beall

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