Jason Schumer joined the Weekly as a volunteer photographer and to help deliver the newspaper in 2016. Over the years, he took on more operational responsibilities, from distribution and mail to office management and ad sales. In 2018, Jason officially became the executive director of the Weekly, and helped us secure our first operating grant in 2019, propelling the Weekly to a more sustainable and professional future.
From stepping in at the last minute to take photos for dozens of blurbs in Best of the South Side, to helping coordinate coverage when editors were short-staffed, Jason has played a big role in keeping the paper running and the stories flowing. He worked on making last year’s merger with Hyde Park Herald possible, helping save the historic paper and create a new nonprofit entity with more growth to come. Jason’s been a thoughtful manager, a frequent collaborator, and an excellent grillmaster whenever we’ve convened on the patio for socials and events. Jason is moving on to Operations Manager at Injustice Watch, where we wish him the best. Congratulations!
Historic flooding hits Chicago homes and roads
After a week of flood warnings, Chicago saw highways, roads, and more than 2,000 basements flooded. On July 3, some of the neighborhoods hit the hardest included Garfield Park, Midway, and Bridgeport—Garfield Park alone received 8.12 inches of rain. According to WTTW, the last time Chicago saw nine inches of rain was in 1987. While some residents were left to deal with the arduous task of pumping water out of their basements, many took rafts to the flooded streets to make the best of extreme weather conditions.
The I-55 was subsequently closed and eastbound lanes on 290 were shutdown. Cars were stuck in the high waters leaving many questioning the city’s responsibility to mitigate increased flooding. While Brandon Johnson expressed intent to use funds from the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal to improve the city’s framework, on the city’s website, the only responsibility the city assumes is for “placing restrictors—known as ‘Rain Blockers’—in [catch basins] all over town.” Residents in the West Side of Chicago, including the nearby suburbs, were the hardest hit with some reporting water levels reaching three feet in their homes.
Migrants transferred out of CPD station; police under investigation for sexual misconduct
Last week, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) launched an investigation after learning of allegations of inappropriate sexual contact between police and migrants sheltered at the 10th district police station, which serves the North Lawndale and La Villita areas. Community members—including members of the Ogden Police District Council—protested outside of the station the next day to denounce the abuse and demand transparency from CPD, which had yet to release a statement or provide details of the allegations. Various 10th district officers are accused of engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with migrants, and one officer of impregnating a teenage girl. A spokesman later said the department’s bureau of internal affairs is investigating. On Friday afternoon, about forty migrants were transferred out of the station without advance notice.