Stories by alexandra silets

The Week in Review: Michael Madigan Fills His House Seat Twice

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (WTTW News)

The fight is on to replace Michael Madigan as Democratic Party chair, while his legislative successor steps down after three days on the job. And Chicago City Council erupts over COVID-19 spending. 

The Week in Review: After 50 Years, Madigan Calls it Quits

A file photo of state Rep. Michael Madigan. (WTTW News)

A political era ends. A report slams the police response to summer unrest. Gov. Pritzker’s budget has no income tax hike but some pain for business. Vaccination rates lag in Black and Brown communities.

Spotlight Politics: Pritzker Takes Aim at Republicans in Budget Address

(NikolayFrolochkin / Pixabay)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker takes aim at Republicans during his budget address. Our politics team breaks that down and more.

The Week in Review: Impeachment Managers, Trump’s Defense Make Their Case

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)

Impeachment managers and Donald Trump’s defense wrap up the former president’s second impeachment trial. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth continue to push President Joe Biden to keep Chicago’s top federal prosecutor. Gov. J.B. Pritzker says no new taxes in his new budget. 

Spotlight Politics: Trump’s 2nd Impeachment Trial Underway

A mob breaches the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

Powerful video evidence is presented at former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. Our politics team of Amanda Vinicky, Paris Schutz and Heather Cherone takes on that story and more in this week’s roundtable.

The Week in Review: CPS, CTU Remain at Odds

(WTTW News)

After heated negotiations this week, there’s still no deal between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union. Meanwhile, Chicagoans scramble for COVID-19 vaccinations as complaints mount against the sign-up process.

Spotlight Politics: Vaccine Rollout, CPS Uncertainty

(WTTW News)

The tug of war between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools is still on, as the vaccine rollout bumps along. Our politics team of Amanda Vinicky, Paris Schutz and Heather Cherone weighs in on that story and more in this week’s roundtable.

The Week in Review: Still No Agreement On Return to In-Person Learning

(WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union are still negotiating a return to in-person learning. The coronavirus keeps indoor dining to a minimum in Chicago, and pushback over backroom political deals.

Spotlight Politics: Potential for Teachers Strike Looms

CPS CEO Janice Jackson speaks at a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021 amid negotiations between the district and Chicago Public Schools. (WTTW News)

A possible teachers strike over safety issues looms as city and state COVID-19 mitigations are being rolled back. Our politics team of Amanda Vinicky and Heather Cherone weighs in on that story and more in this week’s roundtable.

3 Former Tribune Critics Reflect on Past, Future of Journalism

(WTTW News)

Blair Kamin, Phil Vettel and Howard Reich have taken voluntary buyouts at the Chicago Tribune after decadeslong careers at the newspaper. They discuss their experiences at the paper and what comes next.

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.