South Side resident removed from City Council meeting
On February 1, a resident of the 11th Ward was ejected from a City Council meeting by Chicago police after speaking against Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed agreement with utility giant Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), citing its failure to curb corruption and the climate crisis. “A fifteen-year franchise agreement, rather than a five- or ten-year agreement, is something that is out of step with the basic reality of climate science and the ways in which we will need to constantly adapt and readapt to the material conditions of what influence basic goods and services to keep the lights on and the heat running do to add to the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” said Sean Estelle, a member of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America and the Democratize ComEd campaign, during their remarks. Estelle said they believe they were politically targeted. Six alderpeople—Daniel La Spata (1st), Jeanette Taylor (20th), Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th), Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez (33rd), Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), and Andre Vasquez (40th)—signed a joint statement denouncing “the Mayor’s naked act of retaliation.” According to WTTW, neither Estelle’s remarks or conduct violated any rules or ordinances, but they were forced to leave the chambers anyway. The Mayor’s proposed franchise agreement was temporarily blocked after some alderpeople voted to delay a vote until March 15, after the election.
Stimulus checks for immigrants
Chicago immigrants who do not have permanent residency could finally be eligible for federal COVID-19 relief. The City of Chicago announced this week that it will distribute American Rescue Plan Act funds that were previously denied to undocumented people despite their status as essential workers during the pandemic. The Department of Family and Support Services has opened applications through the multilingual website www.chicash.org, where applicants will need to submit identifying and income documentation. Some 17,000 applicants will be selected on a rolling basis through the rest of the year if they meet the income requirements and will receive a single $500 check by mail or direct deposit. Please note that DACA recipients, who were eligible for the regular stimulus checks, and asylum seekers are not eligible for the funds, according to the City. Questions can be directed to the phone number (312) 585-5773.
Candace Parker leaving Sky
Chicagoans said goodbye to WNBA Candace Parker after she announced her decision to leave the Chicago Sky to join the Las Vegas Aces. In an Instagram post, Parker said, “While Chicago will always be my home, my family’s home is on the west coast. To play for a championship close to home is the perfect situation for us.” In 2021, Parker led the Chicago Sky to win their first WNBA championship against the Phoenix Mercury. Prior to joining the Sky, Parker played thirteen seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks. She is a seven-time All Star, a two-time MVP, and a two-time WNBA champ. We wish her the best.