Stories by Brandis Friedman

Interim Police Superintendent Pick Sounds Alarm Bells for Activists

Aislinn Pulley of Black Lives Matter Chicago says the group has a number of problems with Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s appointment of an interim police superintendent. (WTTW News)

As former Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck prepares to take over the top job at the Chicago Police Department – at least temporarily – his appointment is sparking criticism. What activists have to say.

Dancing Down Memory Lane Before the Curtain Falls on ‘Hamilton’ Chicago

The company of “Hamilton.” (Courtesy of Joan Marcus)

Just over three years ago, Chicago audiences were introduced to the smash hit musical “Hamilton.” We catch up with two original cast members of the Chicago production.

Internal Document Provides Insight into CTU Bargaining

Chicago Teachers Union members hold a rally at the Lincoln Yards development on day nine of the strike, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. (WTTW News)

An internal Chicago Teachers Union document obtained by WTTW News shows the union would agree to a five-year contract if the mayor agrees to stop blocking the passage of an elected school board bill in Springfield and “getting back our bargaining rights.”

Chicago Teachers Strike Day 9: Negotiations at a Standstill

Despite a lot of back-and-forth, negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and city negotiators appear to be deadlocked. An update on day nine of the strike from CTU headquarters.

CPS Cancels Tuesday Classes as Sticking Points Stall Deal

Striking Chicago Public Schools teachers carry signs on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, day eight of the Chicago teachers strike. (WTTW News)

The Chicago Teachers Union strike has surpassed its 2012 work stoppage in terms of missed school days. An update on negotiations from Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Teachers Union leaders.

Striking CPS Teachers, Staff Take Message to City Hall

The Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU Local 73 hold a massive demonstration in the Loop on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 -- day five of the Chicago teachers strike. (WTTW News)

Tens of thousands of protesters rallied and marched on city streets outside City Hall on Wednesday morning as Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered her first budget address.

How CPS Strike is Impacting High School Seniors Applying for College

Emely Gramajo, a senior at Solorio Academy High School. (WTTW News)

There is still no deal between the city and the Chicago Teachers Union, and the strike is raising specific concerns for some high school seniors. Meanwhile, a former teacher-turned-presidential hopeful rallied with the CTU on Tuesday morning.

Strike Day 2: City Wants 10-Hour Daily Bargaining Sessions With CTU

Chicago Public Schools teachers formed picket lines for the second day Friday as the city and Chicago Teachers Union continued contract negotiations.

As teachers hit the picket lines for the second day, the city called on Chicago Teachers Union leaders to spend more time at the negotiating table in order to reach a deal. 

Contract Bargaining Wraps Up With No Deal Between CTU, Board of Education

This Sept. 10, 2012 file photo shows Chicago teachers walking a picket line outside a school in Chicago, after they went on strike for the first time in 25 years. (AP Photo / M. Spencer Green, File)

Time is running out for Chicago Public Schools to reach a deal with the Chicago Teachers Union on a new contract. 

CPS Teachers, Staff Rally and March as Strike Countdown Continues

Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey speaks during a rally Monday.

Negotiators took a break from the bargaining table Monday as thousands of teachers and school staff rallied in hopes of securing what they called a “fair contract.” 

As Teachers Strike Nears, CPS and CTU No Closer to Contract Deal

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey appear on “Chicago Tonight,” separately, on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2019.

After another day of bargaining, negotiators for Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union appear no closer to averting a planned Oct. 17 teachers strike.

What’s Next in Lead-Up to a Chicago Teachers Strike?

This Sept. 10, 2012 file photo shows Chicago teachers walking a picket line outside a school in Chicago, after they went on strike for the first time in 25 years. (AP Photo / M. Spencer Green, File)

The Chicago Teachers Union has set a strike date of Oct. 17, but the deadline for the city to come to a deal with the 25,000-member union may be sooner.

House Committee Holds Hearing on Gun Violence in Chicago

Several members of the Illinois congressional delegation heard testimony Thursday about gun violence, and legislation aimed at addressing it.

Chicago Teachers Union Sets Oct. 17 Date for Strike If No Deal Reached

Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey speaks with WTTW News on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.

The Chicago Teachers Union says members will walk off the job in two weeks if a deal with the Chicago Board of Education can’t be reached.

Chicago Teachers Union Members Vote to Authorize Strike

File photos of Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson, left, and Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey. (WTTW News)

Ninety-four percent of Chicago Teachers Union members voted to authorize a walkout, according to preliminary results announced Thursday night at the CTU headquarters.

Local Rehab Hospital Turns Gun Violence Victims into Able Survivors

Jonathan Annicks works with staff at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital. (WTTW News)

Chicago police say shootings and homicides last month were at their lowest point since 2011. But for many survivors of gun violence, physical injuries and trauma can last a lifetime. We visit a local hospital treating many of those victims.

Early Learning Providers Concerned About New City Funding Contract

(Skitterphoto / Pixabay)

The city is making changes to the way neighborhood early learning centers receive funding, and some providers say the changes are destabilizing to families and communities.

Mars Wrigley Internship a Sweet Gig, but Not All Goodies and Gumdrops

Cindy Mancilla spent her summer working at the headquarters of candy magnate Mars Wrigley. And though the company hires hundreds of interns across its various departments, this internship takes the cake – and gives back.

Sister Jean, America’s Favorite Basketball Nun, Turns 100

Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, better known as Sister Jean, celebrates her birthday with fans and special guests at Loyola University on Aug. 21, 2019. (WTTW News)

Loyola University is celebrating the centennial of Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, better known as Sister Jean, all week. Gov. J.B. Pritzker helped kick off celebrations Wednesday.

Amid Contract Negotiations, CPS Teachers Gear Up for New School Year

Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey speaks about contract negotiations Tuesday, Aug. 20. (WTTW News)

Teachers at Chicago Public Schools still have no contract deal with the Board of Education, and have repeatedly threatened to walk off the job. And another controversy is brewing within their ranks.

‘Hamilton’ Exhibition Brings 18th Century Life into 2019 Reality

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, left, and exhibition designer David Korins speak with WTTW News at “Hamilton: The Exhibition.”

Peek inside the soon-to-close, 25,000-square-foot “Hamilton” exhibition on Northerly Island and hear from the man who brought Alexander Hamilton back to life: Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Lightfoot’s CPS Budget Proposes Millions for Upgrades, Improvements

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to reporters at a press conference to release the district’s budget proposal on Aug. 8, 2019. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveils her first budget proposal for Chicago Public Schools – and it comes as she negotiates a new contract with the Chicago Teachers Union.

CTU Prepares for Contract Fight with New Mayor

Chicago Teachers Union members hold a rally in the Loop on Wednesday, May 22, 2019. (WTTW News)

Chicago Teachers Union members call on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to make good on promises for educational equity. Meanwhile, upheaval at a Chicago Public Schools board meeting.

Lightfoot Keeps Police and Schools Chiefs, Makes Additional Appointments

Janice Jackson, left, appears on “Chicago Tonight” on April 19, 2018. Eddie Johnson, right, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (AP Photo / Teresa Crawford)

On her first full day in office, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a number of leaders who will serve in her administration, as well as several senior staff members.

Like a Boss: Hair Care Entrepreneur Shares Experience as a Black Businesswoman

Five years after launching her organic hair-care company with a single product, Monique Rodriguez’s Mielle Organics now has 46 products in more than 100,000 retail stores.