At his inauguration, President Joe Biden calls for unity. Vice President Kamala Harris makes history, and both immediately get to work taking on the COVID-19 crisis. Advocates and immigrants in Chicago say they’re relieved and hopeful with Biden as president, but are still fearful of being targeted and of being deported. On his way out, Donald Trump pardons and commutes sentences for 143 people, including former Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher’s brother. The Senate impeachment trial of Trump is slated to begin next month.
In other news, it’s been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and Chicago is hoping to accelerate the vaccination rollout next week and bring back indoor dining Saturday. Chicago Teachers Union delegates approve a walkout, with 84% of members voting in favor of it, and they send the vote to full union membership. But Chicago Public Schools officials call it illegal.
In Springfield, state Rep. Michael Madigan empties his apartment, fueling speculation he may step down. Speaking of which, a newly re-elected state Sen. Heather Steans announces she’s quitting, setting up state Rep. Kelly Cassidy for the seat. Meanwhile, both state Sens. Andy Manar and Bill Brady's seats need to be filled, too. Finally, Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch picks his leadership team, leaving out suburban women who helped force Madigan out.
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