Stories by Alexandra Silets

The Week in Review: An Inauguration Like No Other

Joe Biden is sworn in as president during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in at a heavily fortified inauguration. Biden starts his term with executive orders on COVID-19 and immigration. Partial indoor dining is set to resume in Chicago.

Spotlight Politics: A Peaceful, Historic Inauguration

Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

A solemn and somber Inauguration Day for President Joe Biden, as well as a historic day for Vice President Kamala Harris — and the nation. Our politics team breaks it all down in this special edition of our weekly roundtable.

The Week in Review: A Historic Impeachment, Shift in Springfield Politics

An image taken from a video of President Donald Trump posted on the official White House Twitter account on Jan. 13, 2021 — the day he was impeached for a second time and a week after deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol. (WTTW News via @WhiteHouse)

President Trump is impeached a second time. A monumental shift in Springfield as state Rep. Michael Madigan relinquishes the speaker’s gavel. The battle over in-person learning continues between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union.

Spotlight Politics: Trump Impeached, Madigan Dethroned

An image taken from a video of President Donald Trump posted on the official White House Twitter account on Jan. 13, 2021 — the day he was impeached for a second time and a week after deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol. (WTTW News via @WhiteHouse)

It was a historic day in Washington and Springfield. Our politics team of Amanda Vinicky, Heather Cherone and Paris Schutz dives into the second impeachment of President Trump and the end of an era in state politics. 

The Week in Review: Illinois Representatives Call for Trump’s Removal

Donald Trump speaks in a recorded video Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

Calls are rising for President Trump’s removal after he incited his own supporters who stormed and looted the Capitol. Chicago Public Schools and the teachers union battle over plans to resume in-person learning Monday. And state lawmakers return to Springfield.

Spotlight Politics: An Unprecedented Day of Violence on Capitol Hill

Protesters storm the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

Riots break out in Washington, D.C. by pro-Trump supporters as Congress prepared to count electoral votes. Our politics team takes on that story and more in this week’s roundtable.

Spotlight Politics: Trump Criticizes, Vetoes Defense Bill

President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

President Donald Trump unexpectedly vetoes the bipartisan defense bill and threatens to do the same with the COVID-19 relief and government funding package. Our politics team takes on those stories and more.

The Week in Review: COVID-19 Vaccinations Begin in Illinois

A health care worker gets the COVID-19 vaccine in Peoria, Illinois on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. (WTTW News)

The first round of health care workers in Illinois receive COVID-19 vaccines. Mayor Lightfoot slammed over a shocking police video of a wrongful raid. And the Chicago Teachers Union loses its challenge to prevent in-person learning.

Keeping the Faith: How Religion Helps Some People Cope During the Pandemic

(Myriams-Fotos / Pixabay)

With coronavirus deaths surpassing 300,000 and the coronavirus surge — and winter temperatures — forcing people indoors, some people are leaning on their faith and religion to help.

The Week in Review: White House Pressures FDA to Greenlight COVID-19 Vaccine

(WTTW News)

The White House pressures the FDA to grant emergency authorization for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, as the virus kills more than 14,000 people in Illinois. 

Spotlight Politics: Madigan Floats Income Tax Hike

Michael Madigan file photo (WTTW News)

With the failure last month of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s graduated income tax amendment, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan floats an income tax hike while making his pitch to the Black Caucus.

The Week in Review: Record Number of Deaths as COVID-19 Surges

(Photo by Mayron Oliveira on Unsplash)

Coronavirus cases surge after Thanksgiving as a record number of deaths are reported this week. With approval of a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, the first Illinois residents are expected to be vaccinated later this month.

Evan Osnos on New Book ‘Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now’

(Courtesy of Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.)

In 50 days, Joe Biden is set to become the country’s 45th president, but he still faces an ongoing assault on transition norms from President Donald Trump. Author Evan Osnos joins us to discuss the challenges Biden faces. 

Crain’s Headlines: Cyber Monday Sales Expected to Break Records

(WTTW News via CNN)

The coronavirus pandemic is driving holiday shoppers in the U.S. online — and they’re expected to spend a record $12.7 billion on Cyber Monday. Crain’s Chicago Business reporter Danny Ecker has details.

The Week in Review: Who Will Run for Illinois House Speaker?

(WTTW News)

More Democrats announce they won’t support Speaker Michael Madigan, who vows to run again. As the coronavirus surges, officials urge residents to stay home while CPS announces reopening plans.

Spotlight Politics: Pritzker Announces New COVID-19 Restrictions, Addresses Threats to Family

Gov. J.B. Pritzker provides an update on the coronavirus in Illinois on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. (WTTW News)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker tells his political opponents that his family is off limits as he announces new restrictions designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Our politics team takes on those stories and more in this week’s roundtable. 

Columnist Heidi Stevens Talks About Her COVID-19 Diagnosis

Heidi Stevens appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. (WTTW News)

Heidi Stevens is a writer at the Chicago Tribune who taps into many of her own experiences for her “Balancing Act" column. But writing about her COVID-19 diagnosis — and an underlying heart condition — gave her pause.

The Week in Review: Lightfoot, Pritzker Sound Alarm on COVID-19 Surge

(WTTW News)

Coronavirus cases soar. Local contenders for Biden’s Cabinet. President Trump makes unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Mayor Lightfoot threatens aldermen. A winner in a close congressional race.

The Week in Review: Biden Inches Toward Victory

Ballots are counted in Wisconsin. (WTTW News)

The count continues in the race for Electoral College votes. A congressional race in Illinois is too close to call. Top Democrats want Illinois House Speaker Madigan to step down as party chairman.

Stressed Out? How to Cope With Election Anxiety and Uncertainty

(PDPics / Pixabay)

If you’re experiencing some fear and trepidation around the 2020 election, you’re not alone. That heightened stress and anxiety has a name that was coined in 2016: election stress disorder.

The Week in Review: Illinois Sets New Daily COVID-19 Records

(WTTW News)

Illinois reports a record 6,943 new COVID-19 cases in a single day, surpassing the previous record set one day earlier. As cases rise so do tensions between Gov. J.B. Pritzker and business owners amid pandemic-related closures.

Spotlight Politics: Pritzker Surprises Lightfoot with COVID-19 Rollbacks

(Andrew Seaman on Unsplash)

A pandemic rollback battle plays out between Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot as Election Day draws near. Our politics team takes on those stories and more in this week’s roundtable. 

DePaul Researchers Help Narrow Data Gap in COVID-19 Testing

(WTTW News)

When the pandemic hit, city officials found there was a significant information gap when trying to collect race and ethnicity data. What researchers at DePaul University is doing to help narrow that gap.

Spotlight Politics: Lightfoot’s Pandemic Budget

(WTTW News)

The mayor’s budget plan, the next coronavirus wave and the final presidential debate. Our politics team takes on those stories and more in this week’s roundtable. 

Candidate Forum: Republican Ives Aims to Unseat Casten in 6th District

Republican Jeanne Ives talks about her bid to unseat freshman Democratic U.S. Rep. Sean Casten.

The Week in Review: Johnson Hit with Lawsuit, Report of Special Treatment

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Nov. 14, 2019. (WTTW News)

Former top cop Eddie Johnson is accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit filed by a member of his security detail. And a new report says he received special treatment after being discovered unconscious behind the wheel last year.

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