Stories by alexandra silets

The Week in Review: Bailey Campaigns With Pastors Who Were at Capitol on Jan. 6

What the just-unsealed affidavit shows about the FBI’s search of Mar-A-Lago. The mayor’s between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the Columbus statue. And student loan debt relief.

Spotlight Politics: Biden Keeps Campaign Promise with Loan Forgiveness

President Joe Biden unveils his student debt relief plan. A conservative group’s political ad darkens Mayor Lightfoot’s skin. Our politics team weighs in on those stories and more.

The Week in Review: Politicians Rally Party Faithful at Illinois State Fair

(WTTW News)

Optimism and discord for both parties at the state fair. Jurors view notorious video in R. Kelly’s Chicago trial. Deaths and injuries in Chicago’s playpen. And CPS prepares to go back to school.

Spotlight Politics: Illinois Dems Focus on Unity, Target GOP Nominee Darren Bailey at State Fair

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other state Democrats wave to the crowd at the Illinois State Fair’s Democrat Day on Aug. 17, 2022. (WTTW News)

Highland Park calls for a ban on semi-automatic weapons. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

The Week in Review: List Unsealed, FBI Removes Nuclear Secrets from Mar-a-Lago

The FBI vs. former President Trump. A scaled-back property tax increase. And tension at the CPD over the firing of the officer in charge of reform.

The Week in Review: Lightfoot Losing Allies, Pritzker Mum on Endorsement

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is pictured at the July 20, 2022, Chicago City Council meeting. (WTTW News)

Former Lightfoot allies falling off the bandwagon. Unearthed Darren Bailey Holocaust comments cause bipartisan blowback. Outgoing prosecutors blast Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. And the Cubs and Sox largely stand pat at the trade deadline.

Spotlight Politics: Darren Bailey Facing Backlash Over Abortion and Holocaust Comparison

Darren Bailey appears in a 2017 social media video. (Facebook)

The Republican nominee for Illinois governor, Darren Bailey, is feeling the backlash from both sides of the aisle for comparing abortion to the Holocaust. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

The Week in Review: Kinzinger on January 6, Rotering on Assault Weapons Ban

(CNN via WTTW)

Another alderperson decides to retire before her term is up. Rep Adam Kinzinger leads an explosive Jan. 6 hearing. NASCAR is coming to Chicago. And Pritzker catches COVID-19 after a trip to Florida.

The Week in Review: Bans on Assault Weapons, High-Capacity Magazines Pushed

The prospect of cracking down on assault-grade guns. Hyper-contagious COVID-19. The governor’s race heats up. And City Council changeover.

Spotlight Politics: Friends and Families Demand More Gun Restrictions in DC

Accusations of witness tampering against former President Donald Trump. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

The Week in Review: Bailey Apologizes Again, Renewed Calls for Tougher Gun Laws

(WTTW News)

Processing, mourning, and pushing for change as suburban Highland Park reels from a Fourth of July mass shooting. Plus, what’s next for gun control this election year?

Spotlight Politics: VP Harris, Gov. Pritzker, Darren Bailey React to Highland Park Shooting

Vice President Kamala Harris walks with Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering during a visit to Highland Park on July 5, 2022. (WTTW News)

In this week’s edition of Spotlight Politics: our team on Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit to Highland Park and whether gun laws will tighten.

First Graduates of Cook County Restorative Justice Program Recognized

The first graduation ceremony for the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Restorative Justice Community Court in Englewood was held on June 29, 2022. (WTTW News)

Participants in the the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Restorative Justice Community Court spent six to nine months learning conflict resolution and job skills, as well as receiving emotional support.  

Delia Ramirez Wins Democratic Primary in 3rd Congressional District

Illinois State Rep. Delia Ramirez appears on “Chicago Tonight” on June 29, 2022, after her win in the Democratic primary in the 3rd Congressional District. (WTTW News)

Should she prevail against her Republican challenger, Justin Burau, in the general election in November, Ramirez wants to focus on environmental issues as well as Medicare for All and immigration reform.

Spotlight Politics: Previewing Primary Election Day in Illinois

(WTTW News)

It is the night before the primary election in Illinois and candidates are making a last-minute push for votes. Our Spotlight Politics team of Amanda Vinicky, Paris Schutz and Heather Cherone previews the hottest races in the state.

Spotlight Politics: Billionaires Spend Tens of Millions on Governor’s Race

(WTTW News)

Our politics team weighs in on Darren Bailey's lead in the GOP primary race for the governor and more.

Candidate Forum: Cook County Assessor Candidates Kaegi, Steele Face Off

A composite image of the candidates for Cook County assessor, incumbent Fritz Kaegi and challenger Kari Steele. (WTTW News graphic)

The candidates for Cook County assessor face off in a “Chicago Tonight” candidate forum.

The Week in Review: Donald Trump at Center of January 6 Committee Hearing

The January 6 Committee meets on June 9, 2022. (PBS NewsHour)

Donald Trump was at the center of primetime hearings on the Jan. 6 insurrection. Mayor Lightfoot makes it official — she wants another term. And a new poll shows a seismic shift in the GOP race for governor. 

All 48 Craft Cannabis Licenses Awarded to Social Equity Applicants

A cannabis cultivation facility. (WTTW News)

The state has awarded 48 cultivation licenses to craft cannabis growers, and 100% of the licenses are going to social equity winners — folks who were most impacted by the nation’s so-called war on drugs.  

The Week in Review: GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Debate Violence, Guns

(ABC via WTTW)

Republican gubernatorial candidates go on the attack. Two more candidates for Chicago mayor. And the U.S. Senate debates gun policy amid Uvalde and another violent memorial day weekend in Chicago.

VA Hospitals Work to Address Mental Health Needs of Veterans

(WTTW News)

Since 2010, more than 65,000 veterans have died by suicide – that is more than the total number of deaths from combat during the Vietnam War and the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

The Week in Review: Mayor Lori Lighfoot’s Curfew Plan Faces Full City Council

A sign at Millennium Park details the new policy for teens on May 20, 2022. (WTTW News)

The Chicago Police Department is beefing up police presence after a new deadly downtown shooting. Meanwhile, the mayor’s new daily curfew of 10 p.m. clears a committee and will be voted on by the full City Council next week.

The Week in Review: Smollett Released, Muñoz Sentenced, Thompson’s Request

Former Ald. Ricardo Muñoz, right, listens as his attorney Richard Kling addresses the news media on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. (Heather Cherone / WTTW News)

Another former alderman was sent to jail. State’s Attorney Kim Foxx won’t charge the police officers who fatally shot Adam Toledo and Anthony Alvarez. The heated remap fight is headed to the voters. And Loyola goes down in round one of the NCAA tourney.

The Week in Review: Madigan Arraigned, Cullerton Pleads, Smollett Sentenced

Jussie Smollett was sentenced to 150 days in jail plus probation after being convicted of lying to police about staging a hate crime against himself. (WTTW News)

Jussie Smollet sent to prison. Mike Madigan pleads not guilty to federal corruption charges. Candidates file for June’s primary election. And masks are set to become optional for Chicago Public Schools.

How Subtle Language Can Create a Culture of Segregation

Tonika Johnson, pictured in 2020, created the Folded Map project to correct misconceptions about certain neighborhoods in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Since we first met Tonika Lewis Johnson in 2020, she has expanded the Folded Map project — adding workshops, a play and a movie.

The Week in Review: Pritzker Taking School Mask Case to State Supreme Court

(WTTW News)

Appeals court rules against Pritzker’s school mask mandate. A mask melee in the general assembly. Lightfoot’s gang ordinance moves forward. And another Chicago alderman found guilty in federal court.