Stories by evan garcia

Analysis: Mayor Lightfoot’s $16.7 Billion Spending Plan

Mayor Lori Lightfoot presents her budget proposal for 2022 to the Chicago City Council on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (WTTW News)

The 2022 spending plan relies on hundreds of millions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funding to shore up Chicago’s budget gaps, increases police spending and invests in ward-by-ward community programs. Is it too reliant on federal COVID-19 funding?

Holiday Shoppers to Contend with Supply Chain Disruptions

From shortages of microchips to coffee: what’s driving the current supply chain disruptions? (WTTW News)

As the holiday shopping season approaches, several economists are warning consumers about higher prices and delays for shipments due to a shortage in everything from microchips to coffee to the supply containers for transporting goods.

‘Chicago Party Aunt’ Prepares To Make Netflix Debut

“Chicago Party Aunt,” which starts streaming on Sept. 17, follows the adventures of Diane Dunbrowski, the boisterous namesake of the series, and her nephew Rory O’Malley, who’s taking a gap year before attending Stanford. (Courtesy Netflix)

She’s our local bad influence: the Chicago Party Aunt debuts this week on Netflix. We check in with writer and actor Chris Witaske, the creator of the notorious Twitter account-turned-animated series.

The Creator Economy: How Social Media Influencers are Gaining Audiences, Earning Money

(Erik Lucatero / Pixabay)

Even if you haven’t heard of the creator economy, you’ve likely encountered it. About 50 million people worldwide consider themselves creators, with the majority – about 46.7 million – calling themselves amateurs, according to a report. 

Terrorism Experts Reflect on 9/11 Attacks 20 Years Later

The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 have changed the world in ways both “subtle and profound,” said DePaul University history professor Thomas Mockaitis. (WTTW News)

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Local experts join us to discuss what we’ve learned about terrorist threats since then — and how safe we are today.

Northwestern Study Underscores Importance of 2nd COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

A new study by local scientists sheds light on the efficacy of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as well as the importance of receiving both doses of the vaccines. We discuss the findings with Northwestern University professor and biological anthropologist Thomas McDade.

Study Finds Large Cities Promote Lower Rates of Depression

A new study suggests large, urban environments promote lower rates of depression among city residents, in comparison to suburbs and towns, due to the increased daily social interaction cities and the built environment facilitate. (WTTW News)

A new study suggests large, urban environments promote lower rates of depression among city residents, in comparison to suburbs and towns, due to the increased daily social interaction cities and the built environment facilitate.

Illinois’ Vaccine Portal Raises Privacy Concerns

Amid the unveiling of Illinois’ Vax Verify system, concerns are raised about the security of the vaccine verification portal. (WTTW News)

Could Illinois’ vaccine verification portal — known as Vax Verify — leave residents’ personal information vulnerable to hacking? We discuss privacy concerns surrounding the newly unveiled portal.

A Look at Illinois’ COVID-19 Trajectory and the Impact of Lollapalooza

Roughly 50% of all Illinoisans are fully vaccinated. (WTTW News)

As summer winds down, Illinois continues to see a spike in COVID-19 cases, with more than 3,100 new infections reported by state health officials Thursday. Dr. Susan Bleasdale of UI Health breaks down the latest data and recommendations.

Alderpeople Address Budget Shortfall, Police Tensions

In this file photo, members of the Chicago City Council meet on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (WTTW News)

Chicago’s revenue remains stunted by the pandemic. Meanwhile, City Council disclosed millions in investments using federal stimulus funds. And tension heightens between the community and police in the wake of Officer Ella French’s killing. Three alderpeople weigh in on these topics and more.

Chicago Record Label Revitalizes Forgotten Artists of the Past

Pastor T.L. Barrett plays piano at his home on July 30, 2021. (WTTW News)
Older artists are getting a second chance at stardom through the efforts of a local record label tucked away in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. We explore the musical world of Numero Group.

Survey Examines COVID-19 Misinformation on Facebook

(WTTW News)

For many of us, social media is a convenient way to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues. But sharing false information on platforms like Facebook during a global pandemic can have life or death consequences.

COPA’s Interim Leader Looks Forward to Civilian Oversight Board

Andrea Kersten, interim chief of Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom, July 21, 2021. (WTTW News)

The Chicago City Council has approved a measure to create a board of civilians to oversee the Chicago Police Department, the police board and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. Andrea Kersten, the interim chief administrator of COPA, shares her thoughts.

Digging into Chicago’s COVID-19 Vaccine Disparity

(WTTW News)

A recent South Side Weekly report used city data to show that Chicago’s vaccine disparity is widening between wealthier parts of the city, like the Loop, and areas on the South and West sides with a majority of Black and brown residents.

Riding High and Low: Exploring Chicago’s Vibrant Custom Bike Culture

Malcolm Langford, 14, rides a tall bike at a Logan Square Park meetup organized by the custom bike club Rat Patrol on June 11. (WTTW News)

Have you ever thrown out a broken bike or any of its spare parts? There’s a chance a local bike club scooped up that trash to make a work of art on wheels. We visit Logan Square to learn about the city’s bustling custom bike culture.

National Museum of Mexican Art Prepares to Reopen Its Doors

Mexican painter Carmen Chami's work is featured at the National Museum of Mexican Art (Courtesy NMMA)

When it reopens its doors July 1, the National Museum of Mexican Art will be kicking off operations with a major financial boost after it received an $8 million donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

Examining the E-Scooter Data of Chicago’s 2020 Program

While officials discuss a possible future permanent e-scooter program in Chicago, several members of City Council are raising safety concerns about the swift modes of transport. (WTTW News)

Last year’s electric scooter program, which ran from August to December, saw an increase in the number of available scooters but a decline in overall ridership, according to a Chicago Department of Transportation report.

Illinois State Climatologist: This Year’s Spring Driest Since 1934

What could drier-than-normal weather mean for your garden and the greater climate? A climate change specialist and floral expert weigh in.

Young Skateboarders Gain Their Footing Through New Chicago Program

The Chill Foundation’s skateboarding program kicked off in November 2020 in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Skateboarding has long been considered a sport, an art form and even a lifestyle by its devotees. In Chicago, a new program has helped young people break out of the pandemic blues by learning the basics of skateboarding while picking up valuable life lessons along the way.

‘Live at Mister Kelly’s’ Documentary Details Iconic Chicago Nightclub

Mister Kelly's, which operated from 1953 to 1975, is the subject of a new film unpacking its star-studded rosters and broader impact. (WTTW News)

The Chicago nightclub helped launch the early careers of music and comedy acts like Barbra Streisand and Richard Pryor, while achieving status from established jazz artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn, who both recorded live albums at the Rush Street venue.

Higher Education Programs Tackle Latino Issues Domestic and Abroad Amid COVID-19

(WTTW News)

Within university programs dedicated to Latino studies, the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black and brown communities, as well as tensions surrounding police brutality, are emerging in classroom discussions and curriculum.

Ida B. Wells’ Pioneering Journalism Highlighted in New WTTW Film

An image taken from the WTTW documentary “Ida B. Wells: A Chicago Stories Special.” (Courtesy WTTW)

Journalist and activist Ida B. Wells took great risks to expose the horrors of racism and fight injustice through her investigative writings. Wells’ life and groundbreaking work are the subject of a new WTTW Chicago Stories documentary airing Friday.

WBEZ ‘Reset’ Host Sasha-Ann Simons on Covering Chicago

(WTTW News)

A new WBEZ series examines how Chicago’s institutions interact with its residents. Sasha-Ann Simons, the station’s new host of “Reset,” joins us.

Logan Square Farmers Market Gives Businesses a Boost Amid COVID-19

Pete Ternes, owner of the brewpub Bungalow by Middle Brow, takes a pizza out of the Logan Square restaurant’s oven on April 30, 2021. Bungalow by Middle Brow is one of several vendors participating in this year’s Logan Square Farmers Market. (WTTW News)

One of Chicago’s only weekly, nearly year-long farmers markets opened on Sunday, just in time to provide some extra help to the farmers, restaurateurs and other food producers selling their goods in the city’s Northwest Side neighborhood. We meet some of this year’s vendors.

Rep. Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia Looks Forward to Open and Inclusive Redistricting Process

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

With a Democratic governor and supermajorities in the state Senate and House, Democrats are in the driver’s seat to redraw the state’s political boundaries. Do Illinois Latinos now warrant more representation in Congress than they currently have?

Internet Cookies May Boost Online Experience But Raise Privacy Concerns

(Cytonn Photography / Unsplash)

As data breaches in recent years have exposed weaknesses in the storage and transfer of personal data, lawmakers in the United States and Europe have expressed concern over the tracking of users online.