City Cast Chicago

By City Cast

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Chicago’s daily news podcast, fresh every weekday at 6 a.m. Host Jacoby Cochran brings you timely conversations with news and culture makers; activists and artists; bus drivers and students; those who love and hate this place—all in 15 minutes a day. It’s a smart and delightful new way to connect with the city we share. Learn more and subscribe to our morning newsletter at citycast.fm/chicago. 

Episode Date
From Wards 1 to 50: Aldermanic Races We’re Watching
1536
Between retirements, resignations, and redistricting, at least 11 of Chicago’s 50 wards is getting a new alderperson. And there are a few incumbents facing big challenges in the municipal election. The City Cast team breaks down some key races across the city and talks about the issues facing City Council, from development to public safety to the environment. Want some more City Cast Chicago news? Then make sure to sign up for our Hey Chicago newsletter.  Follow us @citycastchicago You can also text us or leave a voicemail at: 773 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 07, 2023
How to Grow Weed at Home
1163
While cannabis has been legal in Illinois for a few years, until now there hasn’t been a place for medical patients to buy seeds to grow marijuana. MoneyTree Genetics in Irving Park opened in November as the country’s first brick-and-mortar cannabis seed shop, offering seeds and other services to individuals and cannabis businesses. Co-owner Tom Wilson explains how changes in federal and state law opened the door to this type of business and what it takes to grow weed at home. Some good news: The Garfield Park Conservatory is hosting cooking classes focused on Black culinary history. Email dslaughter@garfieldpark.org for an invite. Share your BEST and WORST date stories for an upcoming episode. You can leave a voicemail at: 773 780-0246 Want some more City Cast Chicago news? Then make sure to sign up for our Hey Chicago newsletter.  Follow us @citycastchicago Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 06, 2023
ComEd Deal Stalls, Why Pre-K Matters, and Good Luck on Beyonce Tix
2104
Mayor Lori Lightfoot hoped City Council would approve a proposed 15-year contract with utility giant ComEd this week, but alders had other plans. The deal has been sent down to committee and will be back up for a vote after the Feb. 28 election. Director of Audio Journalism at Northwestern Arionne Nettles and Chicago writer Heidi Stevens join host Jacoby Cochran to make sense of the political gamesmanship at work. The group also discusses the city’s expanded opioid response team, Illinois’ push for universal pre-k, the future of the Little Village Discount Mall, and some gooooodddd newsssss to get you through!! Remember: Vote City Cast Chicago for best podcast and best newsletter in the Chicago Reader’s Best of 2022 under the City Life category.  Want some more City Cast Chicago news? Then make sure to sign up for our Hey Chicago newsletter.  Follow us @citycastchicago You can also text us or leave a voicemail at 773 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 03, 2023
Chi’s Best Nightlife (Yes Even In Winter)
1466
Whether it’s dancing all night, sipping on elaborate cocktails with a side of live music, or playing some board games before hitting the diner, Chicago offers plenty of late night options. WBEZ audience engagement manager Taylor Faye Nazon joins host Jacoby Cochran to talk about some of their favorite ways to enjoy Chicago’s nightlife! Some good news: Best of luck to Senn High School music teacher Trevor Nicholas, who's been nominated for a Grammy Music Educator award for the second year in a row.. Want some more City Cast Chicago news? Then make sure to sign up for our Hey Chicago newsletter.  Follow us @citycastchicago You can also text us or leave a voicemail at: 773 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 02, 2023
This Black Secret Service Agent Protected JFK. Then He Was Sent to Jail
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In 1961, Abraham Bolden became the first Black Secret Service agent to serve on a presidential detail. Bolden says when he left Chicago for D.C., it was like going from “heaven to hell,” and he faced constant racism from other agents. He says he also heard other agents say they wouldn’t protect President John F. Kennedy if there was an attempt on his life because they despised Kennedy’s work on integration. Bolden spoke up about the agents, but ended up setting off a 50-year fight for justice. City Cast Chicago host Jacoby Cochran spoke with Bolden last year, not long after President Joe Biden granted Bolden clemency.  This conversation was originally published May 25, 2022. Want some more City Cast Chicago news? Then make sure to sign up for our Hey Chicago newsletter.  Follow us @citycastchicago You can also text us or leave a voicemail at: 773 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 01, 2023
Are Mayoral Candidates Talking Enough About Education?
1291
Each week leading up to the municipal election on Feb. 28, City Cast Chicago is digging into where mayoral and aldermanic candidates stand on the city’s most pressing issues. This week, we look at their plans (or lack thereof) for education in the country’s fourth largest school district. Chalkbeat Chicago recently posed questions to the nine mayoral candidates about declining enrollment, the district’s problems running special education, the city’s relationship with the teachers’ union, and more. Chalkbeat Chicago bureau chief Becky Vevea joins lead producer Carrie Shepherd and host Jacoby Cochran.  Want some more City Cast Chicago news? Then make sure to sign up for our Hey Chicago newsletter.  Follow us @citycastchicago You can also text us or leave a voicemail at: 773 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 31, 2023
Who Will Lead Chicago's Largest Police Union?
1126
The Fraternal Order of Police has been endorsing candidates and spending money in February’s municipal elections. But the union is also hosting its own election next week. The FOP president represents about 10,000 officers, making the union leader one of Chicago’s most prominent public voice. WBEZ criminal justice reporter Chip Mitchell tells host Jacoby Cochran about the two men vying for the job, the FOP’s relationship with city leaders, and how the union is positioning itself this election. Correction: An earlier version of this episode incorrectly stated the dates of the union election. FOP members will start voting on Feb. 9, and votes will be counted on March 3. Want some more City Cast Chicago news? Then make sure to sign up for our Hey Chicago newsletter.  Follow us @citycastchicago You can also text us or leave a voicemail at: 773 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 30, 2023
Kevin Pang's 'Proof': The World's Best Italian Beef
3137
Today, we're bringing you a podcast by our friends over at America’s Test Kitchen called "Proof." Each episode, host Kevin Pang tags along with a reporter as they unearth stories about the history, humanity, and unexpected moments about the foods we love. In this episode of "Proof," host Kevin Pang is the reporter, and he takes on the challenge of creating the world’s greatest Italian beef sandwich, inspired by the hit TV show, "The Bear." You can listen to Proof wherever you get your podcasts. Enjoy! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 28, 2023
'Cop Academy' Opens, Kenwood Fire Raises Questions, and We Love Books!
1650
This week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot cut the ribbon on a controversial police and firefighter training facility on the West Side. Officials say the 34-acre, $170 million site is needed to modernize the city’s first response service, while opponents have called it a poor investment of city resources in an already under-resourced community. Freelancer Siri Chilukuri, producer Simone Alicea, and host Jacoby Cochran are breaking down this story and more including an ethics probe into the mayor’s reelection campaign, a recent fire in the Kenwood neighborhood, and a wrongful termination lawsuit against CTA. We’ve also got some great book-based good news for you! Better Government Association and Chicago Tribune Investigation: The Failures Before the Fires City Cast Chicago: Fight Back Against Book Bans Want some more City Cast Chicago news? Then make sure to sign up for our Hey Chicago newsletter.  Follow us @citycastchicago You can also text us or leave a voicemail at: 773 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 27, 2023
Going Deep on the Italian Beef
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After the success of “The Bear,” Chicago’s Italian beef sandwich is having a moment. Longtime food critic Kevin Pang has eaten his share of juicy sandwiches, but he wanted to know how to turn a good Italian beef into the best Italian beef. Pang sets out to answer this question in the latest episode of his podcast “Proof” from America’s Test Kitchen and he shares what he found. Some good news: Celebrate the five-year anniversary of Sleeping Village in Avondale. Want some more City Cast Chicago news? Then make sure to sign up for our Hey Chicago newsletter.  Follow us @citycastchicago You can also text us or leave a voicemail at: 773 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 26, 2023
How to Enjoy Chi’s Sober-Curious Scene
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Dry January is a time of year to help us explore our relationships with alcohol. But Adriana Gaspar and Héctor Díaz, founders of In Good Spirits, facilitate sober experiences in Chicago year-round. They tell lead producer Carrie Shepherd about the community they’ve created and how to get involved. Some news: The Doomsday Clock has been set at 90 seconds until midnight. To learn what that means, check out our ep on the Doomsday Clock and its Chicago roots. Want some more City Cast Chicago news? Then make sure to sign up for our Hey Chicago newsletter.  Follow us @citycastchicago You can also text us or leave a voicemail at: 773 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 25, 2023
From Madigan Name Drop to Wave of New Alders — Your Politics Roundup
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The Chicago Tribune reported Friday that Congressman and mayoral candidate Jesús “Chuy” García is referenced in court filings in former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s corruption case. Incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been going after García’s ties to Madigan in an ad, but the City Cast Chicago team says the attack seems thin. Host Jacoby Cochran, lead producer Carrie Shepherd, and producer Simone Alicea catch you up on the latest election news, including a recap of Thursday’s mayoral debate and an overview of wards likely to see new alders.  Want some more City Cast Chicago news? Then make sure to sign up for our Hey Chicago newsletter.  Follow us @citycastchicago You can also text us or leave a voicemail at: 773 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 24, 2023
How Latinos Fought the Machine for a Political Voice
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Chicago’s Latinx population makes up the city’s second largest demographic, with the largest groups being of Mexican and Puerto Rican origin. And from City Council to Congress, we continue to see more Latinos represented in politics. With Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia in the race for mayor, there is a chance we will see the first Latino elected to the city’s top job. Dr. Wilfredo Cruz has tracked the rise of Latino power in politics in his new book “Latinos in Chicago: Quest for a Political Voice.” He joins host Jacoby Cochran to discuss this history. Some news: Public comment is open through 5 p.m. Wednesday on Chicago Public Schools’ 2023-24 schedule. And on Thursday, City Council candidates in four Southwest Side wards will be at a public forum at Curie High School Want some more City Cast Chicago news? Then make sure to sign up for our Hey Chicago newsletter.  Follow us @citycastchicago You can also text us or leave a voicemail at: 773 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 23, 2023
More Transit Problems, Big Bears Moves, and Taylor Swift Parties
1608
The Regional Transit Authority, which coordinates financing for CTA, Metra, and Pace, is predicting a $730 million budget gap beginning in 2026. The agency is looking for solutions, especially as ridership remains low. Host Jacoby Cochran, Block Club’s Jamie Nesbitt Golden, and WCIU’s Brandon Pope talk about the problems facing public transit, as well as big moves from the Bears, a proposed high school on the Near South Side, and the mayor’s race. Plus, we’ve got good news about lion cubs and Taylor Swift parties and attractions. Vote City Cast Chicago as Best Podcast and Best Newsletter in the Reader's Best of Chicago 2022, under the City Life category. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 20, 2023
Why Visit Lakeview? 'Real People Live Here’
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Some people go to Lakeview for the bars, others go for the Cubs — everyone's got a different take on the North Side neighborhood. City Cast listener Joel Simon has lived in Lakeview for over 20 years and says there’s actually something for everyone. He gives us his list of things to eat, see, and do in the neighborhood. Joel’s Recs: The Annoyance Schubas Tavern Sidetrack Berlin Center on Halsted AIDS Garden Chicago Cody’s Public House Lincoln Tap Theater Wit Music Box Steingold’s of Chicago S&G Restaurant Golden Apple The Gundis Koval Distillery Paulina Meat Market Some news: Do you know who's running for alder in your ward? Check the Chicago Board of Elections list of candidates. Plus, Chicago Restaurant Week kicks off tonight! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 19, 2023
Mayoral Candidates Have Just 6 Weeks to Win You Over
1212
All nine candidates for mayor are scheduled to meet Thursday for their first televised debate on ABC 7. Voters and reporters got a taste over the weekend at two forums where they tried to “out-progressive” each other, taking a few shots at their competitors. Chicago Tribune politics reporter A.D. Quig tells us what candidates are saying six weeks from election day, what she’s still watching for, and what we mean by “progressive.” Check out Quig’s Twitter list for accounts related to the mayoral race. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 18, 2023
Muhammad Ali Day Celebrates 'The Greatest'
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Today is Muhammad Ali Day in Illinois. Chicago author Jonathan Eig wrote the 2017 biography “Ali: A Life” and prompted Ken Burns to make a documentary about the legendary boxer. Eig tells host Jacoby Cochran that Chicago was integral to Ali’s story as the place he was introduced to the Nation of Islam and where he met his second wife and had children. Eig says Ali’s story is as relevant today as ever. This conversation was originally published Sep. 16, 2021. Some Good News: The Moth StorySLAM at Fitzgeralds Nightclub Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 17, 2023
Springfield Action, Lightfoot’s Campaign Fumble, and Bald Eagles Love IL
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot's reelection team may have violated Chicago’s ethics ordinance and federal law when her campaign sent emails to CPS staff asking them to encourage students to volunteer with the campaign. Plus, there was a lot of action in Springfield this week as new legislators were inaugurated following an eventful lame duck session that saw the passage of new labor protections and an assault weapons ban. WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky and Illinois Answers Project reporter Alex Nitkin talk about those stories as well as ongoing railroad expansion in Englewood, Lunar New Year events, and bald eagles wintering in Illinois. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 13, 2023
What Does ‘The Fugitive’ Get Wrong About Chicago? Nothing.
1112
In City Cast Chicago’s occasional series, “Re: VIEWS” we invite guests to re-watch a Chicago film and dissect elements like “Best line” or “Best shot of the city.” Host Jacoby Cochran talks about the classic 1993 movie “The Fugitive” with one of its super fans — journalist and author Natalie Moore — about why she watches it any time it’s on TV and how it creates a full picture of the city. Some good news: Check out the CSO's "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in Concert" Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 12, 2023
Are Illinois Schools Wrong on Reading?
1168
Some educators in Illinois are challenging the way reading is traditionally taught in schools. They say a more evidence-based approach would get more kids reading at grade level. Cassie Walker Burke is an editor at WBEZ and recently reported on how Illinois, including Chicago Public schools, could change the way they teach reading. She talks with host Jacoby Cochran about how reading is taught in Illinois and why some students might be falling behind.  Some good news: Catch a week of storytelling at the Fillet of Solo festival in Rogers Park starting Friday. Plus, catch Jacoby’s solo show “Lessons from Granny” on Sunday. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 11, 2023
Will Walgreens Become Your Doctor’s Office?
1130
In addition to cough drops, toilet paper, and pantyhose, your future Walgreens shopping list could include a checkup with a doctor. The Deerfield-based drugstore chain has invested billions of dollars over the past few years to add primary care clinics to some of its stores, with a goal of reaching 1,000 by 2027. Crain’s reporter Katherine Davis has been covering Walgreens’ health care transformation, and she tells host Jacoby Cochran about some of the hurdles the company faces. Some news:  Check out these upcoming mayoral candidate forums ahead of the Feb. 28 election.  Plus, the ABC7 Great Chicago Blood Drive, the largest Red Cross blood drive in the country, runs Wednesday and Thursday at seven locations.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 10, 2023
What to Watch on the Food Scene in 2023
1148
Chicago’s restaurant industry is still bouncing back after the pandemic forced closures, supply chain issues, and worker shortages. Eater Chicago follows the closings, openings, and all issues happening on the food scene. Editor Ashok Selvam and host Jacoby Cochran share trends to watch in 2023 for dining. Some good news: Jacoby is hosting his first solo storytelling show on Sunday. Get tickets here. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 09, 2023
Where to House Migrants, CPS Data Struggles, and Poet Laureate Incoming
1748
As city officials try to provide for the nearly 4,000 migrants that have arrived in Chicago since August, some Woodlawn residents are opposing a planned shelter in their neighborhood. Host Jacoby Cochran, lead producer Carrie Shepherd, and producer Simone Alicea talk about that story as well as CPS losing track of some students, potential hikes to gas bills, and record opioid deaths in Cook County. And of course, the team shares some gooood newwwws to get you through, including the search for Chicago’s inaugural poet laureate. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 06, 2023
An Insider’s Guide to Pilsen
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Pilsen is known as one of the city’s largest Mexican neighborhoods, but Healthy Hood founder Tanya Lozano explains it wasn’t always that way. Her grandparents were among the first Mexican families to move to the area in the 1960s. Tanya shares some of the history with host Jacoby Cochran, along with her favorite things to eat, see, and do in Pilsen. Tanya’s Recs: La casa del pueblo Frida Room La Luna Pilsen Yards S.K.Y. Yvolina’s Tamales National Museum of Mexican Art Resurrection Project Benito Juarez School/Park Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 05, 2023
Will Illinois Actually Ban Assault Weapons?
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State legislators are in Springfield this week. One issue that may be on the docket is gun control. Rep. Bob Morgan from the 58th District introduced the “Protect Illinois Communities Act” in December. The bill would prevent the future sale of what’s commonly known as “assault weapons,” as well as large-capacity magazines, and would change age requirements for obtaining guns. Morgan represents suburban Highland Park where a shooter killed seven people during a parade last summer. Rep. Bob Morgan tells host Jacoby Cochran what the bill means for future, and current, gun ownership in Illinois. Some Good News: The 36th Annual Young Playwrights Festival Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 04, 2023
How to Make Realistic New Year's Resolutions
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Whether it’s working out more, exploring the city, or finding ways to get more involved, we’ve all got goals and desires for the new year. But how do you make realistic resolutions and stick to them? Compass Health Center counselor Carrie Overbey shares some tips on building good habits. Plus, maybe you can find some inspiration from listeners, friends, and other Chicagoans who shared their resolutions with us. Some news: What new laws are going into effect in Illinois? Here’s a list. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 03, 2023
Harold’s Remains One of Chicago’s Greatest Creations
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Harold’s is more than a chicken spot — it’s a Chicago institution. There are stories of NBA MVP Derrick Rose getting bottles of their famous mild sauce brought to his home. It’s made a number of TV cameos. It’s even been name-dropped by a certain former U.S. president. But somehow, even with dozens of franchise locations, it’s been able to maintain a community feel and remains a must-try for anyone coming to the city. Earlier this year, Shakeia Taylor wrote about Harold’s legacy for the Eater. She and journalist Arionne Nettles talked with host Jacoby Cochran about the history of the iconic chicken joint, their orders, and where the best (and worst) locations are. Plus, we hear from a former Harold’s franchise owner. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 30, 2022
Keeping the Puerto Rican Culture Alive in Hermosa and Humboldt Park
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Humboldt Park is the center of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community. But that pride extends to other neighborhoods, like Hermosa, a little northwest of Humboldt. Last month, City Cast Chicago lead producer Carrie Shepherd took a tour of both neighborhoods with Joshua Smyser-DeLeon, host of Paseo Podcast, which highlights stories by, from, and about the Puerto Rican community. Hermosa: Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center Rica Arepa Salty Sweet Chicago Hermosa Park Walt Disney’s Home  The Bungalow Belt  Humboldt Park: Borinquen Esmeralda's Tiki Bar Nellie's  Paseo Boricua Mural Tour We have more tours of the West Side and Northwest Side, including North Lawndale & Garfield Park, Jefferson Park & Portage Park, and Avondale! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 29, 2022
A Stroll Through Lincoln Park — Past and Present
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Listener Andie Linker grew up in Lincoln Park and loves the expansive green spaces throughout the area. Her parents have been residents for decades and are known for throwing one of the best block parties. Andie reached out to City Cast Chicago because she said while she loves her community, she believes it’s important to acknowledge and repair the long history of gentrification, displacement, and erasure. In September, host Jacoby Cochran visited Oz Park in Lincoln Park with Andie to learn more about her personal history, love for the neighborhood, and her favorite things to see, do, and eat in Lincoln Park and Old Town. Spots Andie recommends: Annette’s Italian Ice Pasta Palazzo Cedar Palace Batter & Berries Pequod’s Lincoln Park Conservatory Lincoln Park Zoo The Second Child Second City Zanies Comedy Club We have got more tours of the Northside for you including Uptown, Edgewater & Rogers Park, and Lincoln Square!  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 28, 2022
Taking a Quick Spin of Beverly
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Back in August, host Jacoby Cochran and librarian Ashley Rayner went to Ridge Park in Beverly to talk about Ashley’s history growing up in the neighborhood to now raising her own children blocks away from her childhood home. She also shared her favorite things to do, see, and eat in her neighborhood, and in nearby Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood, too. Spots Ashley Recommends: Afro Joe's Ain't She Sweet Cafe Beverly Dry Goods Beverly Phono Mart Big and Little Shoes Blue Island Beer Company Flippin Flavors Kimmy Kakes Milano's Chi Tung Major Taylor Trail Nicky's The Original Rainbow Cone Ohana Rock Island Public House Ridge Park Turkey We have got more tours of the South Side for you including Pullman & Roseland, Auburn Gresham, South Shore, and Englewood!  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 27, 2022
Some Gooood News That Got Us Through 2022
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The news can get us all down, but each day on City Cast Chicago host Jacoby Cochran shares some good news to get you through. Plus, on Fridays, guests share their good news. Today, a look back at some of the good news of 2022, from rivers otters and roller skating to all-night dancing and parallel parking.  Some news: With snow expected, check here for school, daycare, and business closures. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 22, 2022
How to Best Prepare for a Blizzard
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Meteorologists are forecasting snow, high winds, and dangerously cold temperatures starting Thursday. And whether you’re new to the city or you’ve been here forever, we all need to know how to stay safe and warm when winter hits hard. We’ve got tips on where to find help, how to tackle travel, and keeping your sidewalks clear. Plus, Tommy Henry with the Chicago History podcast tells us about two of Chicago’s harshest blizzards. Some news: Applications for one-time payments through the Chicago Resiliency Fund have been extended to Dec. 31. Also, you can now apply to be an election judge for the February municipal election. Good news: The Triibe’s top 25 Chicago hip-hop and R&B albums of 2022 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 21, 2022
Why Chicago is Perfect for a Holiday Rom-Com
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Who doesn’t love snuggling up in front of the TV to rewatch a classic Christmas movie over the holidays? The only thing that would make it better is rewatching a Chicago Christmas movie. The 1995 rom-com “While You Were Sleeping” follows Lucy (Sandra Bullock) — a lonely CTA worker who has been mistaken as the fiancee for a man in a coma (Peter Gallagher). Lucy ends up falling in love with the man’s family, especially his brother (Bill Pullman). Host Jacoby Cochran, producer Simone Alicea, and journalist Leigh Giangreco rewatched the film and graded its Chicago-ness. Some news: The families of Brandon Perez and Nathan Billegas are raising money via to cover their funeral expenses after the Benito Juarez High School students were shot and killed Friday while leaving the Pilsen school. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 20, 2022
Why Ice Fishing Tents Are Better for People Who Are Homeless
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Chicago is set to get blasted with dangerously cold temperatures this week, which only highlights the desperate need to safely house people who are homeless. Pilsen resident Andy Robledo is trying to help by building large orange ice-fishing tents more suited to cold weather. Producer Simone Alicea went out with Robledo to Humboldt Park where volunteers were building the tents, and talked to some of the people living in the tents. How you can give and get help: If you’re interested in donating or volunteering to build ice-fishing tents, learn more here. Here are the city’s cold weather resources and warming centers. If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, here are some other resources from the city’s Department of Family and Support Services. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 19, 2022
Casino is Coming, Starbucks is Striking, and NASCAR in Chi
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Chicago City Council gave the Bally’s Casino its official stamp of approval, but will they do the same with a plan to bring NASCAR to Chicago? Plus, bigger fines for blocking bike lanes, and check if your Starbucks is open this morning. Several stores in the area are planning to strike starting Friday. And of course we’ve good news like a WWE show, a South Side art exhibit, and some holiday traditions to celebrate. What’s your New Year’s resolution? Leave us a voicemail at (773) 780-0246. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 16, 2022
How Encrypted Police Scanners Threaten Transparency
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In a joint statement published this week, Chicago’s daily newspapers, TV news stations, and online outlets pushed back on a city policy that blocks real-time access to police scanners. The Office of Emergency Management said encrypting transmissions on a 30-minute delay will “enhance officer safety and prevent suspects from gaining a tactical advantage by listening to live incidents and investigations.” Journalists say the delay interferes with their ability to warn the public about safety threats and blocks transparency and accountability of police. Chicago Sun-Times breaking news reporter Sophie Sherry tells host Jacoby Cochran how the encryption affects how efficiently and effectively she can inform the public. What’s your New Year’s resolution? Leave us a voicemail at (773) 780-0246 and we’ll include it in a future episode! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 15, 2022
O’Hare’s Upped Its Dining Game. Here Are the Best Places to Eat
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If your holiday travels take you through O’Hare International Airport, consider this list for places to eat and drink. Writer Matt Kirouac recently compiled the list of best restaurants at the airport for Thrillist. Lead producer Carrie Shepherd and Kirouac talk about how to stay fed and happy while you’re traveling. For a list of best places to eat at Chicago’s other airport, Midway, check out this issue of our Hey Chicago newsletter.  Getting active? Relaxing more? What’s your New Year’s resolution? Leave us a voicemail at (773) 780-0246 and we’ll feature it in an upcoming episode.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 14, 2022
Why This Student-Run Restaurant is a Great Deal (Yes, It’s Good)
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This time of year, publications are releasing their “Best Of” lists, and in Chicago, that often means: “Best Restaurants.” One place that may not be on the list is a sort of hidden gem that offers a fancy, affordable meal with excellent service and views of Millennium Park. The Dining Room is the teaching restaurant for students at Kendall College. City Cast Chicago talks to students and instructors at The Dining Room and tries the food. We're collecting YOUR New Year's resolutions to share on an upcoming episode! Leave a message at (773) 780-0246! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 13, 2022
Are Tourists Coming Back to Chicago?
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Chicago’s tourism arm, Choose Chicago, has a goal of about 54 million visitors for 2023. That means leisure and business travelers pumping money into the economy. Choose Chicago President and CEO Lynn Osmond says the agency's goal is not just about driving tourism to the Loop, but the city is also focusing marketing efforts on getting tourists to the neighborhoods. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to Osmond about those efforts. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 12, 2022
COVID Meds Sticker Shock, LGBTQ Health Center Layoffs, and Chi Holiday Traditions
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November’s general election saw the fourth-lowest midterm voter turnout in Illinois in 40 years. So what can we expect in Chicago’s municipal elections? Hooligan Magazine founder Rivka Yeker and Chicago Tribune reporter A.D. Quig talk with host Jacoby Cochran about that story and more, including upcoming sticker shock for COVID treatments and vaccines, potential job cuts at Howard Brown Health, and protections for gender-affirming healthcare. Plus, President Biden signs the Speak Out Act, and Rivka tells us about Hooligan Hangout. You have until noon today to nominate City Cast Chicago as Best Podcast and Hey Chicago as best newsletter in the Chicago Reader's 2022 Best of Chicago. Find us under the City Life category. ​​ ​​Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago ​​Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm ​​Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 09, 2022
Get in the Bavarian Spirit in Lincoln Square
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We met up with Lincoln Square neighbor Gretchen Eng to discuss her favorite things to do, see, and eat in the North Side neighborhood. Gretchen's Recs: Spoon Thai Cafe Selmarie Luella’s Southern Kitchen Miku Sushi Taqueria el Asadero Jimmy’s Pizza Gather Bistro Campagne Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen Merz Apothecary  Vom Fass Timeless Toys Neighborly Old Town School of Folk Music  Banjo after Dark Jam at Borelli’s Pizza Square Roots Festival Oktoberfest Maifest Apple Festival DANK Haus A little bit of news: Today. the United Center is hosting Juice WRLD Day in honor of the late rapper. Check out our episode about Juice WRLD from earlier this year. Nominations for the Chicago Reader's Best of Chicago 2022 are due by noon tomorrow. Nominate City Cast Chicago as Best Podcast and Hey Chicago as Best Newsletter under the City Life category. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 08, 2022
What Does Chicago Taste Like? This Couple Finds Out
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Dario Durham and Sara Faddah come from very different food traditions. Faddah is originally from Jordan, and cooks the Arab foods her grandmother made. Durham is a born and bred Chicagoan, and grew up on soul food. So when they started dating in 2019, they started exploring each other’s food cultures and building their own list of favorite dishes and restaurants as a couple. They then decided to eat at a restaurant in every community area for their podcast, 77 Flavors of Chicago. Dario and Sara have now been to all 77 community areas, and they update us on some of their favorite spots.  77 Flavors is having a live taping tomorrow night in North Lawndale to celebrate reaching all 77 community areas. This conversation was originally published July 15, 2021. Some good news: The 4th annual Love and Nappyness hair care drive is almost over. This is the last week to donate natural hair care, skin care, and hygiene products at one of their six drop-off locations. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 07, 2022
Four Things That Could Make Chicago Safer for Cyclists
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Across Chicago, cars have crashed into cyclists in the bike lane more than 400 times between 2020-22, according to an investigation by the Illinois Answers Project and Block Club Chicago. So what can city and state officials do to make Chicago streets safer for cyclists? Kyle Lucas and Michael Podgers with Better Streets Chicago tell us four things that have to happen. A spokesperson from Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office told City Cast that Chicago is building nearly 40 miles of new bikeways per year, nearly twice as much as the previous mayoral administration. Safe cycling is part of CDOT's strategic plan, with a focus on protected bike lanes and other low-stress routes. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 06, 2022
How ‘South Side’ Creators Stay True to Chicago on TV
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Season three of “South Side” premieres Thursday on HBOMax. The comedy follows various characters — from workers at a rent-to-own store to wannabe rappers to cops — as they make their hustle on Chicago’s South Side. Creators Diallo Riddle (who plays Allen Gayle), Sultan Salahuddin (Simon), and Bashir Salahuddin (Officer Goodnight) tell host Jacoby Cochran about what inspired the show and how they stay true to the city to get the biggest laughs. You can see an advanced screening of the season three premiere of “South Side” tomorrow at DuSable Museum. Plus, Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle will be talking to WBEZ’s Sasha Ann-Simons. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 05, 2022
Abortion Advocates Take Flight, Bye Bye Burke, and Deck the City Halls!
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The filing deadline for the February municipal election was Monday. One name that won’t be on the ballot for the first time in over 50 years is Southwest Side 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke. The indicted alderperson decided to quietly bow out of the race as he faces a federal corruption trial and an unfavorably redrawn ward. We are joined by WTTW politics reporter Heather Cherone and WBEZ’s host of The Rundown Erin Allen to discuss Burke’s legacy and how the aldermanic races are shaping up. The trio will also break down an ethics complaint against Mayor Lori Lightfoot, an Illinois nonprofit providing safe flights to people seeking and providing abortion care, and reentry programs for Illinoisans leaving incarceration. Plus we’ve got some gooooooddddd news to get you through the weekend! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 02, 2022
What Makes Englewood So Good? We’ll Show You.
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When City Cast Chicago first talked to Dion Dawson in 2021, he said, “Englewood was everything that I needed it to be.” Dawson is the founder of Dion’s Chicago Dream, which delivers free fresh produce to families across Chicago. He gives host Jacoby Cochran recommendations of things to eat, see, and do in the South Side neighborhood where he grew up. Dion’s Recs: Viaduct murals at 58th and Halsted Englewood Branded Taylormade Q Kusanya Cafe DTLR REESE Da Barber “Gateway” mural at 63rd and Halsted Peace Campus Resident Association of Greater Englewood Plus, check out the In The Land open mic at Imagination House on Dec. 7 and Share the Love Englewood Winterfest on Dec. 10. Some news: On Monday, the city and Bally’s are holding a public meeting about the planned casino at the old Tribune publishing site in River West. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 01, 2022
Fashion is Ageist. This Chi Company is Trying to Help
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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently boasted that Chicago is the 4th best city in the U.S. for startups. The Chicago Innovation Awards are one way companies get their ideas to the rest of the world. Earlier this month, Chicago Innovation gave the “Up and Comer” award to a company called Joe and Bella, which makes adaptive apparel aimed at older adults. City Cast Chicago’s Carrie Shepherd talked to the company’s co-founder and president Jimmy Zollo. Some news: Some of the city's overnight parking bans go into effect early tomorrow. Some good news: The Chicago Kids Company's "Mrs. Claus the Holiday Musical" opens today at the Beverly Arts Center. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 30, 2022
When Polish People Came to Chicago, They Came to Jackowo
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Chicago once had the second highest population of Polish people in the world outside of Warsaw, and many called Jackowo, which is the Northwest Side neighborhood Avondale, home. Back in March, we talked to Mary Wisniewski and Joanna Marszalek, who have both lived in Jackowo and shared their stories of family, migration, and Polish bakeries. They wrote “The Death (and Possible Rebirth) of Jackowo,” for Chicago magazine, which recently won the Chicago Journalists Association’s Boyden Award for best feature. Host Jacoby Cochran sat down with Wisniewski and Marszalek in March to talk about how the neighborhood has changed from Polish to Latino in recent decades. This conversation was originally published on March 10, 2022. The Avondale Neighborhood Association is hosting a series of public meetings to talk about a neighborhood community plan, including tonight at 6 p.m. Some news: Comment on the Chicago Police Department’s draft policy for its Criminal Enterprise Information System (aka the new gang database).  The Chicago Elite Classic high school basketball tournament is back this weekend. Remember to nominate City Cast Chicago as Best Podcast and Hey Chicago as Best Newsletter in the Reader’s 2022 Best of Chicago under the City Life category. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 29, 2022
How Charlie Trotter Made Chicago a Culinary Capital
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Chef Charlie Trotter opened his eponymous restaurant in Lincoln Park in 1987, pushing Chicago to a new culinary level. Some of today’s best chefs trained under the groundbreaking — and mercurial — chef. The documentary “Love Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter” talks to friends, family, and Trotter-trained chefs about what it was like to learn from him and how things started to change. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to filmmaker Rebecca Halpern about the doc, which is available to rent or purchase on Apple TV and Amazon Prime.  Nominate City Cast Chicago for Best Podcast and Hey Chicago as Best Newsletter in the Reader’s Best of Chicago 2022 under the City Life category. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 28, 2022
Mexico vs. Poland World Cup Match Brings Chi Cultures Together
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Mexico and Poland faced off Tuesday as part of the World Cup. Both countries have large populations in the Chicago area, prompting speculation on social media that it could be the “Battle of Archer Ave.” So how did it play out? City Cast headed to a bar in Pilsen and one in Niles to watch the game with fans.  Some News: In honor of Indigenous Peoples Heritage Month, The Chicago Public Library put together reading lists for adults, teens, and kids. Remember to nominate City Cast Chicago as Best Podcast and Hey Chicago as Best Newsletter in the Reader's 2022 Best of Chicago under the City Life category! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 23, 2022
What Are Police District Councils and Why Are They Important?
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In addition to mayor and alders, Chicago voters in February’s municipal election will elect civilian police district councils. Those are representatives of the public tasked with providing some sort of oversight of police. Each district elects 3 members, which means a total of 66 councilors the city. Chicago Reader editor Jim Daley breaks down what the councils will do. Plus, Isaac Troncoso from the Chicago Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, explains how the commission will work with the councils. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 22, 2022
‘Planes, Trains, and Automobiles’ Is the Best Thanksgiving Movie
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The City Cast Chicago team is ringing in the holiday week with another round of Re: VIEWS where we break down films that really star Chicago. Today, re-watching “Planes Trains and Automobiles,” by the late, great Chicago filmmaker John Hughes. Chicago is always a consistent presence in Hughes’ films. What’s your favorite movie starring or featuring Chicago? Send us your pick and we might Re: VIEW it next. Email us: chicago@citycast.fm More about city's vacant lot program and our episode about it. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 21, 2022
Property Tax Woes, Illinois’ Weed Problem, and Justin Fields Looking Good
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Host Jacoby Cochran is back behind the mic for the latest edition of our weekly news rewind. Today, we’ve got some great friends of the show in the building: WTTW’s politics reporter Amanda Vinicky, and Axios Chicago’s Justin Kaufmann. They discuss everything from property taxes and weed dispensaries, to GOP leadership changes and constitutional amendments. Plus, the trio offers some advice for people new to Chicago.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 18, 2022
Puerto Rican and Latinx Culture Thrives in Humboldt Park and Hermosa
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Humboldt Park is the center of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community. But that pride extends to other neighborhoods, like Hermosa, a little northwest of Humboldt. City Cast Chicago lead producer Carrie Shepherd takes a tour of both neighborhoods with Joshua Smyser-DeLeon, host Paseo Podcast, which highlights stories by, from and about the Puerto Rican community. Good News: Hike Your Way Through Fall: Our Top Picks Hermosa: -Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center -Rica Arepa -Salty Sweet Chicago -Hermosa Park -Walt Disney’s Home  -The Bungalow Belt  Humboldt Park: -Borinquen -Esmeralda's Tiki Bar -Nellie's  -Paseo Boricua Mural Tour -National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 17, 2022
Puppies Are Cute, But Who's Looking Out for the Lizards?
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Animal shelters have struggled to find enough homes for all the dogs and cats that people got during the pandemic but then had to give up. But what about other pets, like birds, lizards, and snakes? That’s where Jessica Katz comes in. She runs the Chicagoland Exotic Animal Rescue out of her apartment in Andersonville. Producer Simone Alicea got to meet some of the animals Katz is helping find homes for. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 16, 2022
Some Of My Best Friends Are Podcast: Live from Chicago
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City Cast Chicago is bringing you a preview of another podcast, "Some of My Best Friends Are," from Pushkin Industries. Harvard professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad and journalist Ben Austen are friends, one Black and one white, who grew up together on the South Side of Chicago. On the podcast, Khalil and Ben, along with their guests, have critical conversations that are at once personal, political, and playful, about the absurdities and intricacies of race in America. In this preview, Khalil and Ben revisit the origins of their friendship during a live conversation at the 2022 Chicago Humanities Festival. Ben shares memories of his first job delivering bagels around Chicago, and Khalil speaks to when he first realized he had a Chicago accent. Above all, they connect with a hometown audience and discuss the hard work of studying and admiring a city that can be tough to love at times. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 15, 2022
Why the Famous ‘Candyland House’ Will Still Make You Smile
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To get their new house in Rogers Park, Joe Bergantino and Ricky Gonzalez wrote the owner a letter promising to retain the house’s funky spirit. It’s known as the “Candyland House” because of its pink, yellow, teal, and white striped exterior and interior. Bergantino and Gonzalez have been renovating the house and documenting it on their Homos with Hammers Instagram. City Cast Chicago’s Carrie Shepherd took a tour this summer with the couple, and nearly a year after they bought it, Bergantino and Gonzalez give us an update on how things are going. Parts of this episode were originally published Aug. 3, 2022.  Nominate City Cast Chicago for Best Podcast and Hey Chicago for Best Newsletter in the Reader’s Best of Chicago in the City Life category. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 15, 2022
Why Chi Should Have a Museum to Public Housing
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The story of public housing in Chicago is often a one-sided narrative about deteriorating buildings, crime-ridden corridors, drug trafficking and public aid. But for the last 15 years, former Chicago Housing Authority residents and advocates have sought to shed light on the full stories of these once-vibrant communities by creating the National Public Housing Museum. Leaders recently broke ground, and the museum is slated to open next year at one of the former Jane Addams homes in Little Italy. We talk with Crystal Palmer, a former CHA resident and leader on the museum’s board, and Lisa Lee, the museum’s executive director, about what to expect.  Nominate City Cast Chicago for Best Podcast and Hey Chicago for Best Newsletter in the Reader’s Best of Chicago 2022! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 14, 2022
Goodbye Midterms, Hello Mayor's Race. Plus, 'Wakanda Forever'
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After months of speculation, U.S. Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia is officially running for mayor of Chicago. Garcia notably announced his campaign on the 40th anniversary of Harold Washington, the city’s first Black mayor, launching his historic campaign for Chicago’s highest office. Joining host Jacoby Cochran are Block Club Chicago's Jamie Nesbitt Golden and WCIU TV host Brandon Pope. The trio also break down CPS’ ongoing food shortage, the agenda for CTA president Dorval Carter’s testimony before alders, and a play helping revitalize Pilsen’s APO Cultural Center. Plus, everyone’s going to see the newest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever!" Are you going? And if so, are you dressing up like Jamie and Brandon? If you’ve got photos tag @CityCastChicago ! Nominations are open for the Reader's 2022 Best of Chicago. Nominate City Cast Chicago as Best Podcast and Hey Chicago as Best Newsletter under the "City Life" category! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 11, 2022
What Hip-Hop Blogs Get Wrong—and Right—about Chicago
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Election season can mean commercials and speeches full of fearmongering around crime, stereotypes about the South and West sides, and calling Chicago a hellhole. But it doesn’t just happen when there's an election. Freelance journalist Mark Braboy recently wrote for The Triibe about the growth of online hip-hop and culture blogs, and how Chicago misinformation has become some of their bread and butter. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 10, 2022
Here’s What Happened on Election Night
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Voters in Illinois headed to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots for local, state, and federal offices in midterm elections. The City Cast Chicago team recaps some key races including those for governor, Congress, and the state Supreme Court. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 09, 2022
Abortion Rights, Justice Reform at Stake in AG and Supreme Court Races
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As we await election results tonight, our eyes are likely to get pulled to big congressional, legislative, and gubernatorial races. But you’ll also want to keep an eye on the Illinois Supreme Court, where Democrats’ decades-long majority is at stake, and the attorney general’s race. From public safety to access to abortion, these offices have a lot of influence. WBEZ criminal justice reporter Shannon Heffernan breaks down the AG’s race, while Injustice Watch editor Jonah Newman explains how two suburban Supreme Court races could affect the state. Polls close tonight at 7 p.m. Check for your polling place. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 08, 2022
Obama’s Chief Speechwriter on the ‘Battle for America’
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Few people probably remember that in 2015, the Supreme Court’s decisions on same sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act, as well as the racist shooting rampage that killed nine African Americans at a Charleston church all happened within 10 days. Cody Keenan remembers. He was former President Barack Obama’s chief speechwriter, which meant he had to craft the right words for Obama to deliver. In his new book, “Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America,” Keenan details his struggle to write speeches about those events and outlines how he collaborated with the country’s first Black president.  Remember, Election Day is tomorrow. Find your polling place or nearest drop box. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 07, 2022
CTA Accountability, Midterm Prep, and Chi Transplant Advice
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It’s the last weekend before midterm elections, so of course we’ve got big names making the rounds. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are in Illinois, following visits this week from former president and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama. But it’s not just elections in the news: CTA president Dorval Carter said this week he will appear before the City Council after skipping a hearing in September. The City Cast Chicago podcast team talks about accountability at the transit agency, the latest on grocery mergers, and big changes for the Bears. Plus, host Jacoby Cochran, lead producer Carrie Shepherd, and producer Simone Alicea offer some advice for people new to Chicago. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 04, 2022
So You Want to Build a House on a Vacant Lot?
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During a budget hearing last month, Department of Planning and Development Commissioner Maurice D. Cox said the city has 4,000 vacant lots that are clean and ready for sale. He also promised a more streamlined process in purchasing those lots. City Cast Chicago listener Makema Adkins has one of these city-owned lots behind her condo on the Near West Side, where she’s lived for over a decade. In 2020, she started the process of buying the lot to build a bigger home for her growing family, but it was going frustratingly slow. We revisit our August conversation with Makema about why she thinks the city should make it easier for residents like her to build on these lots. We also get an update on where she is with her new home.  Parts of this episode were originally published Aug. 1, 2022. Makema texted us with her question, and you can too! Reach out or leave a voicemail at (773) 780-0246.  Some news: Today is the last day to request a mail-in ballot. And applications are now open to replace George Cardenas as 12th Ward alderperson. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 03, 2022
Can This Bulls Team Actually Win the Championship?
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Last year around this time we asked, “Are these Bulls for real?” That’s because the team had one of its best starts in years, exciting new players, and a newfound intensity on the court. Heading into this season, following a first round exit in the playoffs and a quiet off season, many are wondering what the team’s ceiling is this year. Host Jacoby Cochran sits down with ESPN NBA reporter Jamal Collier and asks about his early predictions for the Chicago Bulls. Some news: Englewood Nature Trail community meeting Thursday. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 02, 2022
What Does Cook County Do with its $8 Billion Budget?
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In addition to statewide and congressional races, candidates for Cook County offices are on the ballot this election, including Cook County board president and board commissioners. But voters may not be as familiar with what those elected officials actually do. WBEZ politics reporter Kristen Schorsch explains how one of the largest counties in the U.S. spends its $8 billion budget and which races are especially interesting this year.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 01, 2022
'Candyman' Has Been Scaring Chicago for 30 Years
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Re-watching a classic film as an adult, after living for decades in the city where it's set, can bring out very different reactions than the first time you watched it. The original "Candyman" came out in 1992, and is about the urban legend of the man with a hook arm, covered in bees who haunted the Cabrini Green public housing buildings. Host Jacoby Cochran and lead producer Carrie Shepherd rewatched the film for Halloween to see if it’s still as terrifying, how Chicago looks different now, and what the film gets right and wrong about the city. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 31, 2022
Your Last-Minute Halloween Guide
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TimeOut Chicago editor Emma Krupp’s job is to bring readers events that cater to a range of interests, neighborhoods, and lifestyles. Of course, Halloween weekend is a stacked calendar. Emma tells producer Simone Alicea some of the events she recommends.  Families Arts in the Dark Parade Logan Square Halloween Parade Chicago Park District events Chicago Public Library events Party Procrastinators Saints and Sinners at ROOF on theWit Slash Dance at IO Godfrey Black Rose Halloween Party at Adalina Pilsen Brew-Ja Crawl Sober Celebrations: Film screenings at Davis Theater, Doc Films, and Music Box Theatre Scary: Haunted Halloween Ball at Congress Hotel Basement of the Dead Haunted House Dungeons of Doom Plus, check out our guide to Chicago-themed costumes, including some last-minute options. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 28, 2022
South Shore: Beaches, Bungalows, and Obama
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The South Shore neighborhood is home to beautiful beaches, amazing architecture, and an ornate ballroom where the Obamas had their wedding reception. But despite these sights, writer and longtime South Shore resident Evan Moore says the neighborhood doesn’t get the recognition and investment it deserves. He tells host Jacoby Cochran about some of his favorite things to eat, see, and do in South Shore. Places discussed: 63rd Street Beach Stony Island Arts Bank South Shore Cultural Center Rainbow Beach Jackson Park Highlands Local Market Foods Avalon Regal Theatre L&G Family Restaurant Slab BBQ South Shore Brew Italian Fiesta “New Frontier, Same Old 9” Mural Surf’s Up For more on South Shore, go back and listen to our episodes about the Avalon Regal Theater and the Obama presidential center. Plus check out South Shore events this weekend, from music at the cultural center and the Quarry to Halloween festivities. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 27, 2022
Cuffing Season at the ‘Horny’ Farmers Market
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The term "cuffing season" refers to single people looking to couple up for cold weather cuddles, holiday parties, and visiting family now that the summer is over. City Cast contributor Leigh Giangreco went to the Logan Square Farmers Market, a popular meeting spot with a reputation for being "horny," to hear from people attending a singles event. Leigh tells host Jacoby Cochran how Chicagoans are pairing up this time of year. Sunday is the last day of the season for the farmers market in Logan Square. Some news:  Apply for mortgage assistance from the Illinois Housing Development Authority. Help name one of the Shedd’s new sea otters Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 26, 2022
What the SAFE-T Act Really Does
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As we get closer to Election Day, you’ve probably seen memes or posts wrongly decrying criminal justice reforms in Illinois as a “purge law.” Among other changes, the SAFE-T Act passed in 2021 abolishes cash bail. It goes into effect in January. Garien Gatewood with the Illinois Justice Project is here to fact-check the misinformation and explain what abolishing money bond really means. A little bit of news: It's the last week to comment on the city's We Will Chicago plan. Some good news: Catch some spooky stories with Jacoby Friday night at the University of Chicago. Hear campfire stories for children at NEIU Saturday. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 25, 2022
Hike Your Way Through Fall: Our Top Picks
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Fall is in full swing, but there’s still time to get outside before winter hits. Journalist and naturalist Zack Nauth compiled a list of 20 midwest hiking trails to visit this season all over the prairies, marshes, valleys, and forests near Chicago. Host Jacoby Cochran talks with Nauth about his top picks from that list, what to expect on the trails, and his favorite things about hiking. Places discussed: Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve Sag Valley Trail System Swallow Cliff Woods Lakewood Forest Preserves Big Marsh  Franklin Creek State Natural Area Nachusa Grasslands Salt Creek Woods Nature Preserve  Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve Illinois and Michigan Canal News: Where to vote early in Chicago Some good news: Fatimah Asghar at Harold Washington Library. Listen back to our episode with Asghar about writing for Disney's "Ms. Marvel." Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 This episode sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Check out their series of spooky events this month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 24, 2022
Where Are Fed Funds, the CTA, and the Magic Stump?
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The city earmarked $1.2 billion for social services in the 2022 “Chicago Recovery” Budget. But according to WTTW, just $130 million has been spent this year on violence prevention, affordable housing, youth programs, mental health, and helping unhoused Chicagoans. WTTW politics reporter Heather Cherone tells host Jacoby Cochran why so little money has been spent. Plus, Nadia Hernandez, print managing editor for The DePaulia, DePaul University's student newspaper, talks about election season on campus and why students continue to lose faith in CTA. And stick around for rare birds, dorm plants, and new music rounding out this week’s Goooooddd Newwsss!   Good News:  The Magic Stump WTTW Article “There's a Magic Stump in Central Illinois, and It'll Change the Way You Look at Farmland” New Music: Aang by Pivot Gang  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 21, 2022
Why Avondale Really is That Cool
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Shortly before the neighborhood was named one of the coolest in the world by TimeOut, City Cast listener Cat Kliegle reached out to say Avondale is “like Logan Square’s slept-on sibling.” Cat takes host Jacoby Cochran right across the river to Clark Park to talk about how the historically Polish neighborhood has changed. Plus, she gives us her recommendations of things to eat, see, and do, including some recs for the Halloween season. Learn more about Avondale's history as a Polish neighborhood by listening to our episode about Jackowo with Mary Visniewski and Joanna Marszalek. Places discussed: Avondale Coffee Club The Brewed Honey Butter Fried Chicken Staropolska Kurowski Sausage Shop Taqueria Mazamitla La Nonna Joong Boo Market Hairpin Arts Center Puerto Rican Arts Alliance  Basilica of Saint Hyacinth Avondale Bowl Bucket O’ Blood: Books and Records Bric-a-Brac Records & Collectibles Books4Free Record Breakers Some Good News: City Bureau Pumpkin Pop-up  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 20, 2022
Can Pilsen Project Help Tackle City Monument Trouble?
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For years, Chicago has grappled with what to do about monuments that fail to recognize the whole truth of the city’s history and memorialize seminal community leaders. The Chicago Monuments Project issued their recommendations this summer for what to do about monuments in the city that feature colonial history and white supremacy. The report included a call for new work. One of the projects receiving a $50k grant will monumentalize Latina history and leaders in Pilsen. Lead producer Carrie Shepherd talks with one of the artists and organizers leading the project—visual artist, photographer, and educator Diana Solís and Hinda Seif, associate professor of sociology and anthropology at the University of Illinois Springfield.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 19, 2022
A Progressive Guide to Midterm Elections
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With Election Day three weeks away, maybe you’re looking for some help making sense of everything that’s on the ballot, especially if you’ve been feeling disillusioned with politics. That’s where the comprehensive Girl, I Guess Progressive Voter Guide may come in. Every election, organizer Stephanie Skora looks at issues through a progressive lens, focusing on candidates and measures that support workers rights, social services, and environmental causes, and more. Skora joins host Jacoby Cochran to talk about her most important issues on the ballot and why it’s critical to participate. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 18, 2022
Eve Ewing Takes on Everything From Chicago Race Riots to Marvel Comics
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Eve Ewing’s “1919” has been adapted from the page to the stage this month at Steppenwolf Theatre, with upcoming performances at Chicago parks, juvenile detention centers, and other community spaces. The sociologist, professor, poet, and author chats with host Jacoby Cochran about her award-winning work. They talk everything from the history of the Chicago race riots to the release of her upcoming Marvel comic book in December. Some Good News: Catch Jacoby Cochran hosting for The Moth at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn for their “Grown”-themed event.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 This episode sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Check out their series of spooky events this month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 17, 2022
Why is Civilian Police Oversight Taking So Long? Plus, Fantasy Halloween Costumes
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Chicago’s new police oversight commission has been slow to hire staff, prompting tough questions from alders and organizers who’ve fought decades for civilian oversight. Host Jacoby Cochran talks about that and other stories from the week with Injustice Watch’s Charles Preston and Chicago Reader’s Kelly Garcia. They discuss Willie Wilson’s efforts to court Latinx voters, alders exploring more independence from the mayor, and Injustice Watch’s judicial voting guide. Plus, they share some good news and their fantasy Halloween costumes.  Some Good News: Plans for reopening Memo's Hot Dogs in Pilsen are underway!  Fall Chicago Theater is in full swing. Pullman Arts and Culture Fest is presenting a two-day festival this weekend in the Pullman and Roseland neighborhoods.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 14, 2022
Our Must-See Screenings at Chicago International Film Festival
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The 58th annual Chicago International Film Festival kicked off this week with screenings in venues all over the city — even virtually, in people’s living rooms. The event spans 12 days and spotlights more than 90 features and 60 shorts, from big budget films to international indies to documentaries to, of course, local filmmakers. Reporter Leigh Giangreco is writing all about the festival this year. She talks with host Jacoby Cochran about a few key films with ties to Chicago.  Films We Discussed: A Compassionate Spy, directed by Steve James The Year Between, directed by Alex Heller Call Jane, directed by Phyllis Nagy King of Kings: Chasing Edward Jones, directed by Harriet Marin Jones Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, directed by Rian Johnson Devotion, directed by J.D. Dillard 58th Chicago International Film Festival Guide Quick correction: Jacoby and Leigh misidentified the magazine that currently features Jonathan Majors on the cover. It's Men's Health magazine. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 13, 2022
Where to Experience Black Panther Party History in Chicago
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For years, Illinois’ Black Panther Party worked in neighborhoods across Chicago in places like churches, high schools, and theaters. Leila Wills is the executive director of the Historical Preservation Society of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party, and she’s leading the effort to officially landmark some of the spots across Illinois and Chicago where the party was active. Host Jacoby Cochran talks with Leila about these landmarks, the importance of restoring them, putting history into context – and her personal connection as the daughter of Illinois Black Panther Party members.   Event: “Meet the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party” at the Chicago History Museum on Thursday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m Hosted by Chuck D of Public Enemy Some Good News: Elevate Chicago Dance 2022 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 This episode sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Check out their series of spooky events this month. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 12, 2022
Get ‘Slow and Low’ at Lowrider Festival
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This Saturday, thousands of people will descend on Navy Pier for Slow and Low: Chicago Lowrider Festival. The exhibition will feature hundreds of custom cars, bikes, and other vehicles along with Mexican art and dance displays. Photographer and festival curator Edward “Magic” Calderon tells host Jacoby Cochran how lowrider culture is about more than the cars. A little bit of news: Early voting has officially started. Plus if you haven’t yet registered to vote, today is the deadline to mail in your registration forms. Here are other voting dates you should know. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 This episode sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Check out their series of spooky events this month, including nighttime ghost tours. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 11, 2022
Lightfoot's Election Year Budget, Housing People in Tiny Homes, and One Pretty Dope Play
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Fridays are for getting caught up on the week’s news and prepping for the weekend. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to Mariah Woelfel, WBEZ’s City Hall reporter and Brandis Friedman, WTTW anchor extraordinaire, about the mayor’s new budget, WTTW’s Permanent Punishment series, tiny homes, and another cop-involved shooting. Plus, the Chicago Sun-Times loses its paywall, and volunteers archive key burial records of Black Chicagoans. And, Jacoby's good news is "Clyde's" at the Goodman Theatre. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 07, 2022
Skating Rinks, Nostalgia, & Maxwell's: Jacoby's Gresham Guide
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Host Jacoby Cochran always says when he pictures Chicago, the first neighborhood that pops in his head is Auburn Gresham. Growing up, visiting granny, and attending elementary school in the neighborhood cemented his love early. He joins Simone Alicea at the Auburn Park Lagoon for a stroll down memory lane. They also discuss some of his favorite things to do, see, and eat in Auburn Gresham. Jacoby's List: Auburn Park Lagoon Foster Park Dan Ryan Woods Great Wall of Chicago MLK Entertainment Center Exclusive Golden Tropical World Harold’s  Jerk Villa Eat & Run The Hoagie Place Maxwell’s Cookie’s Cocktail Lounge Some good news: Citywide Karaoke Competition Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 06, 2022
Some Plays to See This Theater Season
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Chicago Reader theater and dance editor Kerry Reid tells host Jacoby Cochran about plays she’s most excited about for fall. Kerry's Picks: The Twenty-Sided Tavern at Broadway Playhouse Trouble in Mind at TimeLine Theatre The Locusts from the Gift Theatre at Theater Wit Jacoby's Picks: 1919 at Steppenwolf Enough to Let the Light In from Teatro Vista at Steppenwolf The Wizards at APO Cultural Center Blue Heaven at Black Ensemble Theater Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 05, 2022
As ‘Punch 9’ Hits Theaters, the Life and Legacy of Chicago’s First Black Mayor
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In 2022, Chicago celebrated the centennial birthday of the city’s first Black mayor, Harold Washington. Washington died in 1987 at the start of his second term. His historic election was propelled by a coalition of Black, brown, and progressive voters who saw Washington as the start of a new reform government. In April, host Jacoby Cochran talked about Washington’s life and legacy with Laura Washington, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, ABC-7, and one-time press secretary for Harold Washington (no relation). With the new documentary about “Punch 9 for Harold Washington” slated to open at AMC theaters Friday, we revisit our conversation with Laura.  This conversation was originally published on April 18, 2022. A little bit of news: Check here for road closures around Grant Park leading up to this weekend’s marathon. RSVP for the Indigenous Peoples Day Fest! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 04, 2022
After 40 Years and No Charges, A Potential Twist in ‘Tylenol Murders’
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Anyone who’s had a headache probably doesn’t think too hard before popping a Tylenol or other pain pill. But in late September 1982, the country was gripped with panic as taking a Tylenol could suddenly be deadly. That’s after six people in the northwest suburbs and one person in the city died after taking tainted pills. It led to a nationwide recall, waves of false tips, and copycat killers. “Unsealed: The Tylenol Murders,” a new podcast and print series from the Chicago Tribune and At Will Media, explores the decades-long saga and uncovers new details. Chicago Tribune investigative reporters Christy Gutowski and Stacy St. Clair reported the series and co-host the podcast. Stacy tells host Jacoby Cochran how a tip to her and her colleagues could bring some closure to this case.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 This episode sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Check out their series of spooky events this month, including nighttime ghost tours. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 03, 2022
Near South Side School Moving Forward, Scam at Homeless Encampment, and Some Love for Monty and Rose
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Host Jacoby Cochran, lead producer Carrie Shepherd, and producer Simone Alicea break down the top stories of the week, highlight some news that needs more attention, and share their good news. Stories include the a new Chinatown high school moving forward despite pushback from the community, a Depaul student scamming residents at a Rogers Park encampment, carless streets, and a mayoral endorsement. Plus, some good news!  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 30, 2022
Why Latinas Are Being Targeted with Abortion Misinformation
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Since Roe v. Wade was overturned this summer, Latinas have faced an influx of Spanish-language misinformation and disinformation about abortion. Confusion over state abortion laws, including in Illinois, has enabled this misinformation to spread, especially on social media. Host Jacoby Cochran speaks to Dr. Melissa Simon, OB-GYN at Northwestern Medicine and director of the Center for Health Equity Transformation, about why Latinas are being targeted and what we can do to combat this misinformation.  Come to the City Cast Chicago Happy Hour Thursday, Sept. 29, at 6 p.m. at Midwest Coast Brewing. Drinks on us! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 29, 2022
StreetWise Celebrates 30 Years of Lending a ‘Hand Up’
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StreetWise is celebrating its 30th anniversary, which is no small feat when you factor in the pandemic and inflation. The weekly magazine’s vendors are fixtures in our communities, and some of them have been doing it since the beginning. We hear from a few of them, and lead producer Carrie Shepherd talks with StreetWise Executive Director Julie Youngquist about the origins of the magazine and how it works to help people in need. StreetWise’s 30th anniversary celebration is at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Galleria Marchetti. This episode was originally published July 6, 2022.  Join us Thursday from 6–7:30 p.m. at Midwest Coast Brewing for a City Cast Chicago happy hour! Drinks on us! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 28, 2022
Here's Why Chicago is a Wrestling Town
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From the park, to neighborhood theaters, to giant arenas, you can catch professional wrestling matches in Chicago just about every weekend. Local independent wrestling star Colt Cabana and former referee and wrestling historian Phil Wills tell us about Chicago’s role in wrestling history, what they love about it, and what it takes to become a pro wrestler. Some good news: Andersonville Arts Weekend Join us Thursday from 6–7:30 p.m. at Midwest Coast Brewing for a City Cast Chicago happy hour! Meet the team and fellow City Cast listeners while enjoying free drinks! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 27, 2022
Why Is There (Still) So Much Lead In the City's Water?
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Between 2016 and 2021, Chicago tested 24,000 homes for lead levels in the water. According to a recent Guardian report, 1 in 20 homes exceeded federal limits. However, the city has never done a full analysis of the data and fewer than 200 of Chicago’s 400,000 lead pipes have been removed under Mayor Lori Lightfoot. So we have to ask: Are officials taking this problem seriously? Host Jacoby Cochran talks with freelance journalist Taylor Moore, who co-reported the story.  Profiting from poison: how the US lead industry knowingly created a water crisis Revealed: the ‘shocking’ levels of toxic lead in Chicago tap water This Thursday, Sept 29th we are hosting a happy hour from 6-7:30 p.m. at Midwest Coast Brewing. You can meet the team, grab some swag, and have drinks on us! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 26, 2022
What Does ‘Progressive’ Mean? Plus, Lightfoot's BET Interview and the Best Day of Summer!
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Municipal elections are around the corner and over a dozen alders are not seeking reelection, have already left office, or are running for Mayor. City Council will look very different soon and The Triibe explores what that means for City Council’s Black Caucus and the future of progressive politics at City Hall. Speaking of progressive, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s reelection campaign hit BET this week, and the mayor argued her first term has largely been a progressive success. We asked Triibe’s cofounders Tiffany Walden and Morgan Elise Johnson about the Mayor’s record and if they believe her claims hold up. Plus, you don’t want to miss this week’s good news, Morgan and Tiffany share their Best Day of Summer. (Spoiler: it involves Beyonce and Diana Ross!) Other Stories Discussed: What’s going on with the Invest South/West Program What’s Next for Austin’s Iconic Pink House Good News: Chicago Gourmet Festival Congrats to the winner of our Summer Bucket List Challenge, Annie A., who completed all 21 items! To celebrate, we'll be hosting a happy hour from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sep. 29, at Midwest Coast Brewery. You can meet the team, grab some swag, and have a beer on us! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 23, 2022
Let's Peel Back the Layers of Lincoln Park
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Listener Andie Linker grew up in Lincoln Park and loves the expansive green spaces throughout the area. Her parents have been residents for decades and are known for throwing one of the best neighborhood block parties. Andie reached out to City Cast Chicago because she says while she loves her community, she believes it’s important to acknowledge and repair the long history of gentrification, displacement, and erasure. Host Jacoby Cochran visits Oz Park in Lincoln Park with Andie to learn more about her personal history, love for the neighborhood, and her favorite things to see, do, and eat in Lincoln Park and Old Town. Spots Andie recommends: Annette’s Italian Ice Pasta Palazzo Cedar Palace Batter & Berries Pequod’s Lincoln Park Conservatory Lincoln Park Zoo The Second Child Second City Zanies Comedy Club A little bit of news: Catch up on what City Council did on Wednesday. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 22, 2022
Fight Back Against Book Bans
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With organized groups around Chicagoland pushing to remove books like “Gender Queer” and others from schools, this year’s Banned Books Week feels more pressing than ever. Now in its 40th year, Banned Books Week is a time to celebrate the freedom to read and fight against censorship. Kelly Jensen is an editor at Book Riot, and she tracks book bans. She tells host Jacoby Cochran about efforts to ban books here and explains what we can do about it. PEN America’s report on the rise of book challenges in schools Guide to fighting censorship Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 21, 2022
How to See Chi through Ferris Bueller’s Eyes
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When the conversation about Chicago classic movies begins, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” will most likely be on the list. Writer Leigh Giangreco grew up in Buffalo loving the film, and now living in Chicago, Giangreco wondered if you could recreate Ferris, Cameron, and Sloane’s day off and get it all done before the parents get home. Leigh documented her day for the Washington Post, and tells host Jacoby Cochran the details of how it all went down. Some good news: Latin Restaurant week Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 20, 2022
Chicago Jingles That Still Smack!
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Anyone who grew up around Chicago, or outside Chicago and watched WGN or listened to WGCI, knows we have some classic and catchy commercials and jingles for local businesses. Think about it: the sultry sound of Adriana Furs, the enthusiasm of Moo and Oink, and the memorable phone numbers from our favorite carpet sellers. Even if you haven’t seen or heard them in years, you know them. Writer Chasity Cooper compiled some of her favorites recently for The Triibe and she joins host Jacoby Cochran to talk about those jingles and some stories behind them. Some Good News: Reeling: The 40th Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 19, 2022
A Fact Check on SAFE-T, What’s Up at CTA, and ‘Best Evening Ever’
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Between a political ad featuring a video of an attack in Chicago and misleading social media posts circulating about Illinois’ SAFE-T act, there have been a lot of misinformation and misrepresentations to fight this week. Luckily, we have Jill Hopkins and Pat Whalen to help host Jacoby Cochran break it down. The trio also talk about problems at CTA, a longtime exhibit leaving the Museum of Science and Industry, and some gooooood newwwws. Good News: Pat Whalen's "Best Evening Ever" The Rink is back! Michael "Chef Mike" Airhart feeds migrants Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 16, 2022
'This is My Home Base': A Visit to Pullman and Roseland
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For author, professor, and South Side connoisseur Arionne Nettles, Pullman and Roseland are her home base. Host Jacoby Cochran meets Arionne at the Pullman National Monument to reminisce on childhood memories, talk neighborhood history, and she shares some of her favorite things to do, see, and eat on the Far South Side.  Spots Arionne recommends: Palmer Park Pullman National Monument A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum Lexington Betty Smokehouse Old Fashioned Donuts Original A.P. Deli Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 15, 2022
During Journey to Mexico, Monarch Butterflies Stop in Pilsen
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Every fall, monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles south to Mexico, flying from and passing through Chicago. It’s a long journey, but at a sanctuary garden in Pilsen the butterflies can feed and re-fuel. Claudia Galeno-Sanchez started her garden of native plants to help pollinators, but it also reminds her of her own journey from Mexico 20 years ago. Galeno-Sanchez says the garden brings the community together and helps the ecosystem. Host Jacoby Cochran takes a tour.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 14, 2022
Author Explores Grief, Loss, and Chi Politics in ‘Mount Chicago’
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The sinkhole that swallows up Millennium Park in “Mount Chicago” only takes up a fraction of the new novel. Among other characters, the story follows Solomon Gladman, a writer and comedian who lost his family in the disaster, and a fictional mayor attempting to create a Daley-like legacy in the sinkhole’s wake. Producer Simone Alicea talks with author Adam Levin about grief, loss, and the role of Chicago in the novel. A little bit of news: Learn more about running for a seat on newly-created police District Councils. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 13, 2022
Texas is Busing Migrants to Chicago. What Happens Next?
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On the evening of Aug. 31, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that a bus of migrants had arrived in Chicago. The asylum-seekers, largely from Venezuela, had been sent to the city with little information, and the organizations and city officials receiving them at Union Station didn’t have many more answers. Since then, two more buses of migrants have arrived. Chicago Tribune’s Laura Rodriguez Presa has been talking with the new arrivals and shares some of their stories. You can find places to donate or sign up to volunteer to help arriving asylum-seekers through the city.  Some news: Get your state income and property tax rebates Chicago Fire Facility Moving to Site of Former ABLA Homes After School Matters applications open The Destinos international Latino Theater Festival begins this week Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 12, 2022
Bears Move Toward Burbs, But Will Fans Follow? Plus, South Side Celebrations
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Host Jacoby Cochran, Crain’s reporter Corli Jay, and Block Club Southeast Side reporter Maxwell Evans rewind some stories from the week, including the Bears’ ongoing threat to move to suburban Arlington Heights, new small businesses in Woodlawn, and some good news, including the welcoming community of South Shore and the return of a street fest in Gresham. Other stories discussed: Studying climate change in Chicago 26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 09, 2022
It May Be Quiet, But Don’t Sleep on the Northwest Side
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Host Jacoby Cochran meets fellow podcaster Zac Emry at Fort Knox Studios in Portage Park to talk about things to eat, see, and do on the Northwest Side. Emery, who hosts the podcast Album Rebrews, talks about moving to the area to be close to one of the city’s largest music rehearsal spaces and discovering spots in the city and nearby suburbs that align with his eclectic interests. Spots Zac recommends: Thrifting books and collectibles at Village Crossing American Science and Surplus (now in Park Ridge) Tone Deaf Records LaBagh Woods Leaning Tower of Niles Mom’s Old Recipe Mexican restaurant Weston’s Coffee and Tap Co. Elly’s on Milwaukee Want to know where to see birds in Uptown? Find a Chicago-mix-scented candle in Beverly? Or get a coffee (or two or three) in North Lawndale? Peep our neighborhood guide playlist. Some good news: The three-day Lincoln Park Gyrofest starts Friday. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 08, 2022
Here’s How the Committee Came Up with Their Recommendations for City Monuments
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Two years ago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot removed the Christopher Columbus statues in Grant Park and Arrigo Park in Little Italy after protests and police violence as activists called for the monuments to be removed. The mayor then appointed a committee to review the city’s public monuments and determine which ones are problematic and what should be done with them. The Chicago Monuments Project narrowed the list to 41 works and just released their recommendations for those monuments. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to committee co-chair Bonnie McDonald about how the group came to their recommendations.  A little bit of news: Here’s where to find the new bivalent COVID-19 booster. More residents are now eligible to get lead water lines removed. Here’s where to apply and get a free water test kit. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 07, 2022
From the Barber's Chair to Podcast Mics, '79th and Halas' Brothers Talk Bears
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Brothers Scott and Joe Lewis grew up talking about their love—and frustration—with the Chicago Bears. They used to listen to the old guys at their barbershop in Englewood do the same thing. The Lewis brothers turned that into the “79th and Halas” podcast, which has been on for eight seasons. Ahead of the Bears’ season opener Sunday, host Jacoby Cochran talks with Scott Lewis about the podcast and the upcoming season. A little bit of news: While beaches are closed for the season, some indoor pools are reopening this week. Check the Park District for details. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 06, 2022
Street Takeovers Not Stopping, Chicago Welcomes Migrants from Texas, and The Rink is Back!
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With illegal drag races, donuts in the street, backed up traffic, fireworks and run-ins with police, street takeovers continue to pop up across Chicago. Host Jacoby Cochran is joined by Chicago Sun-Times’ reporter Manny Ramos and Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Sheridan to talk what, if anything, the city can do to discourage the meet-ups. Our Friday trio also discuss more libraries carrying Narcan (Naloxone), migrants arriving in Chicago from Texas, and the anniversary of Emmett Till’s death. Plus, stick around for our good news we’ve got roller skates and pickleball! Some Good News: The Rink re-opening Friday, Sept. 2 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 02, 2022
West Side Best Side? Explore North Lawndale to Garfield Park
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Host Jacoby Cochran and freelance journalist Natalie Frazier stop by Comercio Popular in Lawndale to talk about Natalie’s family’s history on the West Side. From growing up in Austin, visiting granny in Garfield Park, and putting down roots in North Lawndale, Natalie shares with us the pride she feels in her community and her desire to see it thrive. She also shares her favorite things to do, see, and eat in her neighborhoods.  Spots Natalie Recommends: Azucar Ice Cream & Coffee Principle Barbers Green Tomato Cafe Beelove Cafe Scatchell’s Beef Monday Coffee @ Garfield Park Conservatory Muse Coffee Studio Firehouse Community Arts Center Check out our other neighborhood guides for Rogers Park, Uptown, and Edgewater and for Beverly, Morgan Park, and Mount Greenwood.  Want to take us around YOUR neighborhood? Or have recs on where to go? Email us at chicago@citycast.fm. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sep 01, 2022
Lisa Beasley’s ‘Lory Litefoot’ is a Political Statement
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Lisa Beasley has toured with Second City, performed on Comedy Central, and stolen scenes on the hit show “South Side.” Her latest show at the Laugh Factory, “Lisa Beasley’s Unpolitical Woman Comedy Show,” may be her funniest creation yet. The show features a cast of Lisa’s friends and impressive characters like “women’s ministry pastor” Kevin Jackson, a reincarnated Margaret Thatcher, and Mayor Lory Litefoot. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to the writer and filmmaker about the show and the many layers of her comedy. For free tickets to Lisa Beasley’s Unpolitical Woman Comedy, USE PROMO CODE: citycast (there are a limited number of tickets so grab them fast!) Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 31, 2022
You’re on a Boat! How to Stay Safe in Lake Michigan
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Just in the past couple weeks, one person was found dead and at least three others have been seriously injured at the “Playpen” in Lake Michigan — a popular boating spot east of Oak Street beach. As boaters, kayakers, swimmers, and casual Chicagoans make their way out to the water for the last few weeks of summer, host Jacoby Cochran talks to Mike McElroy, vice president of the Chicago Harbor Safety Committee, about the safety rules in the water, and why August is traditionally difficult for boaters.  Some good news: Nominations are open for Chicago magazine’s Chicagoans of the year. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 30, 2022
Meet One of Chicagoland’s American Ninja Warriors
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Tonight is the season finale for "American Ninja Warrior" — the show with all the running, jumping, and swinging through crazy obstacles. But you can learn to be a ninja year round from a coach who’s been on the show. Mike “The Stallion” Silenzi has been on nine times (including this season), and he runs Ultimate Ninjas in northwest suburban Libertyville. It’s a gym dedicated to training for obstacles similar to what you see on the show. Producer Simone Alicea visited Mike at the gym to see what it takes to train like a ninja warrior. A little bit of news: On Tuesday, the city is hosting a public meeting about pedestrian and traffic safety on Garfield Boulevard in Washington Park. Some good news: We are extending the deadline of our Summertime Chi Bucket List challenge. You now have until Sept. 22 to do as many things as possible. Do the most, and you could win some swag! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 29, 2022
More School Bus Probs, Yet Another Monuments Committee, and Sister Jean's 103rd Birthday
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It is the first week of school for Chicago Public School students, but unfortunately for thousands of students and parents who rely on the district's school buses service, many are still without routes. WBEZ education reporter Sarah Karp breaks down that story, and Injustice Watch editor Jonah Newman discusses a report that recommends closing the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, and how the chief judge sat on the report for months. Plus, moments of joy, including celebrating Loyola’s Sister Jean's 103rd birthday, and the Purple Block Party! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 26, 2022
Why A Trip to Beverly Is Worth It
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Host Jacoby Cochran and librarian Ashley Rayner head to Ridge Park in Beverly to talk about Ashley’s history growing up in the neighborhood to now raising her own children blocks away from her childhood home. She also shares her favorite things to do, see, and eat in her neighborhood. They also talk spots in Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood. Spots Ashley Recommends: Afro Joe's Ain't She Sweet Cafe Beverly Dry Goods Beverly Phono Mart Big and Little Shoes Blue Island Beer Company Flippin Flavors Kimmy Kakes Milano's Chi Tung Major Taylor Trail Nicky's The Original Rainbow Cone Ohana Rock Island Public House Ridge Park Turkey Check out all great suggestions from listeners and readers on Twitter. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 25, 2022
Doc Shows Southeast Side History and Resilience
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What happens to a community when industry leaves? That’s the central question driving Steven Walsh’s documentary “Southeast: A City Within a City.” Growing up in the East Side neighborhood, Walsh saw what unemployment and disinvestment did to the area, and he wanted to find out how it got there. The filmmaker talks with host Jacoby Cochran about why he loves his neighborhood and how his grandfather’s story is the story of many on the Southeast Side. The documentary is being screened for free Thursday at Big Marsh Park after sunset. RSVP Here. Check our Steven Walsh's Guide to the Southeast Side in the City Cast Chicago newsletter. This conversation was originally published Sept. 30, 2021. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 24, 2022
From Hand-Holding to Meditation: The Work of Abortion Doulas
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In a post-Roe world, the role of abortion doulas has become more critical than ever. Abortion doulas support people before, during, and after an abortion. City Cast Chicago host Jacoby Cochran talks to producer Meg Dalton about her experience as a doula in New York and Connecticut, and Meg plays tape of Ama Warnock, an abortion doula in Chicago, about how doulas support people looking to end their pregnancies.  Places that offer abortion doula services and training: Radical Doula Queer Doula Network Chicago Women's Health Center Embodied Reproductive Care Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 23, 2022
New Teachers Union President Talks First Day, Pandemic Safety, and Mayoral Election
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It’s the first day of school for Chicago Public Schools. And while the past couple years have been marked by battles between CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union over pandemic safety protocols, this school year is starting less contentiously with scaled-back COVID-19 measures. Stacy Davis Gates was elected president of the CTU this spring. She sits down with host Jacoby Cochran to talk about what teachers and students can expect this school year and her vision for one of the city’s most influential institutions. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 22, 2022
Pushback on Fests in Douglass Park, New Development in Bronzeville, and a Community Garden in Pilsen
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Douglass Park neighbors say the city is unfairly prioritizing festivals and events over residents who use the park. The park won’t be fully repaired until after Riot Fest this fall, so neighbors are pushing for more of a voice in event permitting. Host Jacoby Cochran talks about that story with the Center for Public Integrity’s María Inés Zamudio and City Bureau’s Alejandra Cancino. Plus, they talk about development in Bronzeville, air pollution on the South and West sides, a community garden in Pilsen, and Cook County’s guaranteed income program. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 19, 2022
Your Guide to Uptown, Edgewater, and Rogers Park
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Host Jacoby Cochran and producer Simone Alicea head to the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary in Uptown to talk about some of Simone’s favorite things to do, see, and eat in her neighborhood. They also talk spots in Edgewater and Rogers Park.  Spots We Talked About: Montrose Bird Sanctuary Graceland Cemetery Green Mill Cocktail Lounge Immm Rice and Beyond Lickity Split Check out all great suggestions from listeners and readers on our Twitter feed Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 18, 2022
After Tragedy, Alderwoman Pushed to Protect Residents in Extreme Heat
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We expect summertime to be hot in Chicago, but extremely hot days are coming earlier and more often. During a May heat wave, three residents at a senior apartment complex in Rogers Park died from what’s suspected to be heat-related causes. The tragedy prompted Ald. Maria Hadden to push a law to keep residents safe in extreme heat. The law passed in June. The 49th Ward alderwoman tells lead producer Carrie Shepherd how the new law came to be and what the protections entail. A little bit of news: The future of the Discount Mall in Little Village remains uncertain, with the contract between the mall and property owners set to expire at the end of this month. Go back and listen to our episode about the mall’s importance to the community. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 17, 2022
What You Need to Know About COVID and Schools This Year
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Chicago Public Schools start the new school year on Monday, Aug. 22. Earlier this month, the district announced its COVID protocols for the upcoming school year. They include recommended masking, free weekly testing, some quarantining guidelines, and a test-to-stay program for unvaccinated students. Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady tells us why students and parents should be confident returning to the classroom.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 16, 2022
Top Doc Says Lessons from COVID Are Essential to Monkeypox Response
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Monkeypox is a public health emergency in Illinois. There are more than 600 cases reported in Chicago. The person leading the response to monkeypox and all public health issues is Dr. Allison Arwady. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to the public health commissioner about what we need to know to protect ourselves against the virus, and why messaging is so important to prevent the spread. More on Monkeypox (MPV) More resources from the city about monkeypox Resources from the state Some Good News: Jacoby hosts The Moth on Tuesday, Aug. 16 Jacoby is a guest on Axios Chicago's Office Hours on Friday, Aug. 19 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 15, 2022
More Cops on CTA, No Charges in Till Case, and Making Sure Chicago Tells Our Story
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Chicago Police say they’re adding more officers to CTA trains across the city after recent violence. A Mississippi grand jury declined to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman in the Emmett Till murder case. Plus, controversy over a death in police custody, and gas prices are on the way down. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to Sylvia Snowden, host of CAN TV's Political Forum, and Angel Idowu, WTTW’s arts correspondent, about all that and more.  Some Good News: CAN TV fall lineup  NABJ-Chicago wins chapter of the year The TRiiBE’s Morgan Johnson’s newsletter  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 12, 2022
Here's How to Still Live That Summertime Chi Life
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We‘re a month away from the end of our Summer Bucket List Challenge. Host Jacoby Cochran and lead producer Carrie Shepherd discuss who, uh, poorly they're doing at hitting all the spots. Plus, participants Annie A. and Dea B. tell City Cast where they've visited this summer, and how the list has exposed them to more of Chicago. Check out who's winning the Bucket List Challenge! Some Good News: Little Italy Festa  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 11, 2022
How the ‘Bud’ Became a Staple in Black Chicago
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The Bud Billiken Parade is turning 93 this weekend. It’s the largest Black parade in the country. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to Shermann “Dilla” Thomas about the history of the Bud, and Shkunna Stewart from Bring Out the Talent Dance Co. about her family’s history of dancing in the parade.  Some Good News: Taste of Andersonville Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 10, 2022
Butter Cows, Kissing Babies, and Piglet Parades: The Illinois State Fair is Back
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The Illinois State Fair kicks off on Thursday. It’s meant to highlight the importance of agriculture in Illinois, but it’s also where politicians schmooze with voters and other members of their party. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to politics reporter Amanda Vinicky on what to expect, especially since we’re just a few months out from the election. Some Good News: Karaoke Storytellers The Moth Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 09, 2022
Making 'Ms. Marvel': Fatimah Asghar's Path from Chi to MCU
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The Disney+ series “Ms. Marvel” tells the story of a 16-year-old Muslim girl, Kamala Khan, from Jersey City who suddenly gains superpowers. The show explores everything from Avenger fandom to Khan’s Pakistani heritage, even diving deep into the real-life Partition of India in 1947. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to a poet and screenwriter who has artistic ties to Chicago, Fatimah Asghar, about writing for Ms. Marvel, representation in the MCU, and more.  Chicago Park District Fall Programs Registration 4th Ward Community Meeting about Proposed Dispensary Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 08, 2022
Chi’s Sanctuary City Status Under Threat, CPS Enrollment Continues to Drop, and Grab South Side Weekly's 'Lit' Issue
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Across the U.S., big cities, including Chicago, are facing a small schools crisis as enrollment drops. Chalkbeat is out with a new story. ICE is finding new ways to target undocumented immigrants in Chicago. A new report from Block Club Chicago and Injustice Watch finds that Chicago police stop thousands more Black drivers in traffic stops than they report. Host Jacoby Cochran chats with Becky Vevea, bureau chief of Chalkbeat Chicago, and Alma Campos, immigration editor for South Side Weekly, about all that, plus some good news from a sales tax holiday to South Side Weekly’s literature issue.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 05, 2022
Yes, There’s ‘Nope’ But Here Are Some Indie Flicks to See This Weekend, Too
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From the indie flick “I Love My Dad” to Jordan Peele’s blockbuster “Nope,” there are a lot of films to check out in theaters right now. Host Jacoby Cochran chats with film critic Reggie Ponder about some of the films playing in and around Chicago this weekend.  Update: An earlier version of this podcast misidentified one of the actor's roles in "I Love My Dad." Films and Showtimes: Nope I Love My Dad Pioneers of Queer Cinema at Gene Siskel Film Center Fresh Hell at Music Box Theatre Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 04, 2022
‘Homos with Hammers’ Are Renovating One of Chi’s Most Colorful Homes
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When Joe Bergantino and Ricky Gonzalez put an offer on a new house in January, the Rogers Park couple wrote the owner a letter, promising to keep the house’s funky aesthetic. The house is what’s known to many North Siders as the “Candyland House” or “Barbie House” for its pink, yellow, teal, and white striped exterior. That color scheme extends to the interior, too. Bergantino and Gonzalez have been renovating the house mostly on their own and documenting the process on their Instagram feed, Homos With Hammers. They gave City Cast Chicago’s Carrie Shepherd a tour of the house and explained why it’s important to show others that you can DIY renovate on a budget. Some Good News: The Hegewisch Fest  THERE'S STILL TIME TO DO THE SUMMER BUCKET LIST CHALLENGE Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 03, 2022
Illinois Will Literally Pay You to Buy an Electric Car
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With gas prices off the charts lately, some people are considering making the switch to electric vehicles. But for many, buying an electric vehicle isn’t exactly affordable — with the average price hitting $66,000 last month. So how can the EV market become more accessible to the average person? In Illinois, EV buyers can get a rebate up to $4,000 for their purchase. Host Jacoby Cochran speaks to Megha Lakhchaura, Electric Vehicle Coordinator of Illinois, about that, plus the role of EVs in addressing the climate crisis.  If you want to get an EV rebate, submit an application within 90 days of purchasing an electric vehicle through through the state's EV Rebate Program.  August line-up of performances at the Salt Shed Some Good News: "The Best Summer of My Life" film screening at Kilbourn Park Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 02, 2022
A Listener is Trying to Buy a Vacant Lot Behind Her Condo. Why Is It Taking Years?
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If you have a vacant lot on your block, then you know what it’s like to constantly pass by the overgrown weeds and the trash. The city owns more than 10,000 of these lots alone. City Cast listener Makema Adkins has one of these city-owned lots behind her condo on the Near West Side, where she’s lived for over a decade. Two years ago she started the process of buying the lot to build a bigger home for her growing family. And she’s still trying to buy it. Makema walks us through the process and explains why she thinks the city should make it easier for residents like her to build on these lots. Makema texted us with her story idea, and you can too! Reach out or leave a voicemail at (773) 780-0246 Some Good News: Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Aug 01, 2022
Hey Google, Welcome to the Thompson Center. Plus, CPS Teachers Keep Jobs and Lake Michigan Love!
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Google’s coming to the Thompson Center, two Chicago Public School teachers keep their jobs after allegedly being fired for encouraging students’ activism, and some Lake Michigan love! Lead Producer Carrie Shepherd talks about all that and more with WBEZ reporter Susie An and Block Club Chicago reporter Mina Bloom as part of City Cast Chicago’s weekly roundup.  Don't forget...it's still summer! Take our Summertime Chi Bucket List Challenge! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 29, 2022
With Google to Take Over Thompson Center, Let's Appreciate Our Salmon Spaceship
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On Wednesday, officials announced Google will be moving into the Thompson Center in The Loop. The state closed on its sale of the famed building to JRTC Holdings, LLC for $105 million, and Google will move in. The company will “entirely redevelop” the building into an office suite for Google employees. The Thompson Center, designed by the late architect Helmut Jahn and opened in 1985, has long been a source of controversy. Some praise the post-modern building while others deride its retro colors and its spaceship-like facade among neo-classical architecture. All agree that it needed major renovations to fix its inefficient heating and cooling system and years of disrepair. But Jahn’s designs were integral in ushering a new era of design known as post-modernism. Jacoby Cochran speaks to Lee Bey, photographer, Chicago Sun-Times architecture critic, and author of “Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago's South Side,” about the Thompson Center’s legacy.  This interview was originally published May 10, 2021, after the sudden death of Helmut Jahn. Some Good News: While you can now get texts from the likes of former first lady Michelle Obama, we want to know what famous Chicagoans YOU'D want to get texts from. Let us know by texting US (or leaving a voicemail) at (773) 780-0246 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 28, 2022
Do We Get Any Say on The Future of Lolla?
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Lollapalooza is back in Chicago this weekend. Since it landed in the city in 2005, Lollapalooza has gone from a smaller, two-day fest in Grant Park to a full-on, multi-day takeover of the Loop, the CTA, and other neighborhoods. New reporting from the Chicago Tribune shows the festival is not leaving anytime soon because of a contract extension negotiated in secret. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to Tribune reporters Tracy Swartz and A.D. Quig. We reached out to the park district to ask if there was any public involvement in the contract extension negotiations. They sent us this statement: "The Chicago Park District’s new leadership is committed to expanding community engagement. We plan to continue our discussions with local elected officials and the neighboring community regarding the future of Lollapalooza. For weeks we have worked with the city, community stakeholders, and Lollapalooza organizers to address issues and concerns raised by the community such as noise levels and site conditions. Celebrating its 18th year in our city, the festival has become a Chicago tradition. The Chicago Park District and C3 Presents, the organizers of Lollapalooza, are engaged in negotiations and we are hopeful that we will have an agreement in the near future that takes Lollapalooza well beyond 2022." Some Good News: Fiesta Del Sol Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 27, 2022
How One Chicagoan Knew He Had Monkeypox and What He Did About It
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Since the monkeypox outbreak started this spring, there have been more than 200 cases in Illinois, according to the CDC, and 197 in Chicago, according to the Chicago Dept. of Public Health. Vaccines are being rolled out, but it’s a slow and confusing process for patients — and health professionals worry the city isn’t doing enough. Host Jacoby Cochran speaks to Dr. Daniel Berger, who runs Northstar Medical Center in Lincoln Park, which is focused on Chicago’s gay community. Dr. Berger is seeing scary similarities to the start of the AIDS crisis in terms of lack of information, stigmatization, and access to treatment. He explains. Plus, we from Aaron Gettinger about his experience with monkeypox.  Register for CDPH's Get the Fax: Monkeypox Chicago monkeypox update: July 22, 2022 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 26, 2022
'The Bear' Got It Wrong: Here's How Health Inspections Really Work
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Yes, everyone has their Chicago critiques about “The Bear,” the FX on Hulu show about a celebrated chef who returns to his hometown to run his family’s Italian beef joint in River North. One thing that stood out was in episode two when the Chicago Health Department awards The Original Beef of Chicagoland a “C” grade for various health violations in the kitchen. Well, that’s not really how it works here. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to longtime health reporter Monica Eng from Axios Chicago about how it does work. Monica has gone on health inspections with sanitarians, investigated some shady behavior by sanitarians, and reported on how even the most well-regarded restaurants in the world break the rules. Today is the last day to enter to win school supplies for an entire school! The Chicago Underground Film Festival is back at Logan Theatre (Wed-Sun) . Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 25, 2022
Just Like Riding a Bike: City Cast Chicago Gets a Lesson in Safety
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You can now apply to get a free bicycle next month through the Bike Chicago program, and the city is adding concrete barriers around miles of bike lanes. While bike and pedestrian advocates applaud these moves, the deaths of four children on bikes and scooters this year show more needs to be done. In addition to pushing for more protections, one way to stay safer on a bike could be a lesson to learn the rules of the road. We’re revisiting our bike lesson from last summer with Shameka Turner, who manages Chicago’s SAFE (Streets Are For Everybody) Ambassadors program. Turner tells host Jacoby Cochran about the importance of bike safety, what it means to break down cycling stereotypes, and why she wants everyone to grab a helmet and take a ride. This episode was originally published Aug. 30, 2021. Bike lessons are available again this summer through mid-September. Need something to try this weekend? Check out our Summertime Chi Bucket List. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 22, 2022
Where to Get Some Art (And A/C) This Weekend
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The Art Institute of Chicago lions went away recently to get a cleaning, but they’re back this week at their usual perch in front of the museum. The lions, plus the summer heat, had City Cast Chicago thinking about some ways to stay cool and enjoy some art. Host Jacoby Cochran and lead producer Carrie Shepherd have some recommendations in the city and the suburbs. Jacoby’s Picks: Remaking the Exceptional: Tea, Torture, and Reparations | Chicago to Guantánamo at DePaul Museum of Art through Aug. 7 The Art of the Brick  at the Museum of Science and Industry through Sep. 22 Roman Villareal: South Chicago Legacies at Intuit: The Center of Intuitive and Outsider Art through Jan. 8 Carrie’s Picks: Rirkrit Tiravanija: (who’s afraid of red, yellow, and green) at Wrightwood 659 through July 30 Raul Ortiz: More is More at Elmhurst Art Museum through Aug. 14 Beyond the Frame at the Museum of Contemporary Photography through Oct. 30 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 21, 2022
Chicago Red Stars Rebuild After League ‘Went Through Hell Last Year’
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The Chicago Red Stars are ranked third in the NWSL, and the team’s been rebuilding after some players and the coach left last season following allegations of abuse across the league. It’s a young team and Claire Watkins says this season’s success is a “pleasant surprise” and that they're looking to the future. Watkins hosts a podcast about the Red Stars and writes for Just Women Sports. She breaks down the Chicago Red Stars with host Jacoby Cochran. Take our Summertime Chi Bucket List Challenge Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 20, 2022
Chi’s Women’s Sports Teams Are Giving Fans a Reason to Cheer
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If you’re not following our professional women’s sports teams here in Chicago, we feel a little sorry for you. The Sky are ranked No. 1 in the WNBA and have won nine of their last ten games. And the Red Stars just came off a nine-match unbeaten streak and are third in the NWSL. Remember, both teams played for their respective championships last season with the Sky bringing home the team’s first ever WNBA title. Now, both are on track for another deep playoff run. Each team has battled hurdles off the field, including fighting for equal pay as the men’s teams and leadership changes after accusations of abuse and harassment. And women players continue to speak out against social injustice.  Today, Chicago Sun-Times reporter Annie Costabile takes us inside this season of the Sky, and Wednesday Claire Watkins from CHGO and Just Women Sports talks Red Stars.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 19, 2022
One Way to Get an Invasive Species Out of the Water? Eat It.
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Ecologists have been warning about Asian Carp for decades. The invasive species has infiltrated our waterways and threatens the Great Lakes ecosystem. One way to get them out? Eat them. That’s why Illinois officials have renamed the fish “Copi,” which comes from its copious numbers. The goal is to make it more palatable, but does the fish actually taste good? The City Cast team cooks up some Copi burgers, and producer Simone Alicea talks with Lincoln Park fishmonger Dirk Fucik about whether he thinks the name change will make a difference in our ecology. Here are some other places you can find Copi to eat.  Did you know eating Copi is on our Summertime Chi Bucket List challenge? If you do it, let us know by filling out the form and tagging us on social media using #CityCastSummer. Plus, if you do the most items this summer, you could win some City Cast swag! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 18, 2022
Checks From the City Roll In, Public Demands Answers on Safety, and Chi’s Only Second-Best?
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Chicago’s $31 million dollar basic income pilot will 5,000 families $500 a month for the next year. The first checks started arriving this week. We talk with freelance journalist Natalie Frazier and Xavier Ramey, CEO of social impact consulting firm Justice Informed, about the impact this program will have for participants. We also discuss a report outlining how the public wants the city to make Chicago safer, ongoing problems at the Department of Children and Family Services, Mohawk Johnson’s two years on electronic monitoring, and how Chicago was voted second-best city in the world by Time Out. Stick around for Some Gooood Newwsss to get you through the weekend! It’s a good weekend to get out and try something on our Summertime Chi bucket list. Complete the most items this summer, and you could win City Cast swag!  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 15, 2022
Need a Quick and Easy Getaway to Recharge? Road Trip!
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City Cast loves talking about things to do in and around Chicago. I mean have you seen our great Summertime Chi bucket list? But sometimes it’s nice to get out of the city and get a quick change in scenery to rest and reset. Luckily, we have plenty of options for day and weekend trips around the Midwest. So where should you go?  Thrillist’s Meredith Heil gives host Jacoby Cochran a few recommendations, and we hear some suggestions from City Cast readers. And remember to keep tagging us on social media in your bucket list adventures #CityCastSummer @CityCastChicago.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 14, 2022
Chicago Street Art Becomes a Character in 'Tagged’
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In the new film “Tagged,” a local street artist is accused of murder and searches for clues in Chicago’s murals with the help of an unlikely source. But the film is not just a murder mystery. It’s a love letter to the city’s street art and the artists on the fringes of mainstream recognition. It’s streaming now on Amazon. Host Jacoby Cochran spoke with filmmaker Grant Troyer about “Tagged,” Chicago’s street art scene, and more. Troyer is also founder of local production company Kernel Productions. “Tagged” is available to stream on Amazon and Google Play. A little bit of news: Here's where you can apply to get a free bike, lock, and helmet from the city starting Monday. Plus, Tacos y Tamales is back in Pilsen this weekend. Are you doing our Summertime Chi Bucket List challenge? You could win some City Cast swag! As you complete your adventures, remember to tag us on social media #CityCastSummer @CityCastChicago.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 13, 2022
Feeling the Pinch at the Grocery Store? So is Your Local Food Pantry
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We’re all feeling inflation at the grocery store. Food prices are up 10% compared to this time last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And those increases are a double whammy for food pantries, resulting in more people who need food and fewer donations from grocery stores and big distribution centers. Lead Producer Carrie Shepherd takes us to Care for Real, a food pantry in Edgewater, to get a sense of what inflation actually looks like. Are you doing our Summertime Chi Bucket List challenge? You could win some City Cast swag! Fill out the form, and be sure to tag us on social media using #CityCastSummer @CityCastChicago.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 12, 2022
Illinois is Supposed to have 'Strict' Gun Laws. But How Strict Are They?
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One week after the mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in north suburban Highland Park that left seven people dead and dozens injured, details continue to emerge about the alleged shooter. Robert Crimo III, 21, has been charged with seven counts of first degree murder, and prosecutors say more charges are coming. Questions immediately surfaced about how the suspect was able to legally get the semi-automatic rifle he allegedly used to fire into the crowd, especially because police had previously visited Crimo and his family’s home after he had made threats of violence. We break down Illinois gun laws with WBEZ criminal justice reporter Patrick Smith. A Look Ahead to the Week: Millennium Park Summer Film Series June CPI report drops Some Good News: Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley wins fourth 3-point shooting contest during the All-Star weekend, which means she’s won the most 3-point contests of anyone in the WNBA or NBA.  Do the City Cast Summertime Chi Bucket List challenge! And tag your bucket list #citycastsummer Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 11, 2022
Live From the Silverroom, We're Breaking Down the Week's News!
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After two years of pandemic hiatus, the Silver Room Sound System Block Party is back next weekend. To celebrate, we set up at the Silverroom store in Hyde Park and talked with founder Eric Williams and block party host Ramonski Luv about the growth of the event and what we can expect this year. Plus, Jacoby breaks down the week’s news with Block Club’s Jamie Nesbitt Golden and “Hood Feminism” author Mikki Kendall — who also happen to be longtime friends. They talk about the latest on the shooting in Highland Park, including details about the shooter’s history, affordable housing in Chicago, and getting out to enjoy summertime Chi.  Here’s where to find tickets to the Silver Room Sound System Block Party. And speaking of getting out, check out our Summertime Chi Bucket List challenge. You might win some City Cast swag! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 08, 2022
Here's How to Do Our Summertime Chi Bucket List Challenge!
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City Cast Chicago has been collecting listener and reader suggestions for our summer bucket list. Host Jacoby Cochran, lead producer Carrie Shepherd, producer Simone Alicea, and newsletter writer Sidney Madden share some of those ideas, and include some items from their own bucket lists. Plus! You can win City Cast Swag by participating in our Summertime Chi Bucket List Challenge. Here’s how to participate in the challenge! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 07, 2022
Your StreetWise Vendor Isn't Just Selling a Magazine — They're a Local Business
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For the first time since 2008, StreetWise recently raised its prices. The weekly magazine will now cost $3, but you can still buy it from any of Streetwise’s ubiquitous vendors across Chicago. These vendors are fixtures in our communities, and some of them have been doing this going on three decades. Though the early part of the pandemic forced vendors off the street, more people are returning to their commutes, which means seeing their favorite vendors. We hear from a few of them, and lead producer Carrie Shepherd talks with Executive Director Julie Youngquist about the origins of StreetWise and how it works to help people in need. Check out StreetWise’s podcast “Where I Stay.” Some Good News: Catch us at The Silver Room on Thursday for a live podcast taping. Starting at 11 a.m., we’ll be previewing the Silver Room Block Party and talking the week’s news with Block Club’s Jamie Nesbitt Golden and author Mikki Kendall.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 06, 2022
Public Pools Can Be Safe Havens...If They're Open
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While Chicago’s beaches opened Memorial Day weekend, many of the city’s 49 outdoor pools and 28 indoor pools remain closed. Today, 37 of the Chicago Park District pools are scheduled to open. One of the reasons behind the delay is a lifeguard shortage. The parks says there are 384 vacant lifeguard positions out of 821 budgeted for 2022. Host Jacoby Cochran spoke with City Cast friend and Chicago historian Shermann “Dilla” Thomas about his experience as a lifeguard growing up in Auburn Gresham and the importance of pools during these hot summer months.  See what pools will be open July 5 and where they're located in the city. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 05, 2022
BONUS: The Original Sears Tower from Chicago History Podcast
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We're off for the holiday, but we wanted to share this bonus episode from the Chicago History Podcast. We had host Tommy Henry on awhile aback to talk about the history of Bally's in the city, and today he's going to tell you about another iconic Chicago company. The Sears tower (now Willis Tower) was once the tallest building in the world and is easily the most recognizable building in Chicago, but that building was not the first Sears Tower. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 04, 2022
Another Scary SCOTUS Decision, Few Summer Options for Kids, and Candace Parker is the GOAT!
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The Supreme Court is back in the headlines thanks to another recent decision, this time limiting the ability to enforce Miranda rights. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to Trina Reynolds Tyler, Director of Data at the Invisible Institute, and Maira Khwaja, Director of Public Strategy at the Invisible Institute, about the Supreme Court’s recent decisions, Candace Parker achieving yet another WNBA milestone, and more on this week’s news roundup.  Stories discussed: Supreme Court guts 'Miranda' rights South Side parents struggle to get their kids enrolled in Park District programs The struggle for housing protections around Obama Center Young people dream up a safer summer in Chicago City rejects MAT Asphalt bid WNBA player Candace Parker reaches unprecedented milestone Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jul 01, 2022
Don't Call It a Comeback: House Music is Alive and Well in its Hometown
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Some will say House music is having a “moment,” thanks to the release of Beyoncé’s new single, “Break My Soul,” as well as the new album from Drake “Honestly, Nevermind.” But for the DJs, pioneers, and lovers of all things House, they would say the sound has only sustained and expanded its influence. All this makes it a good time to remember: House music was born in Chicago's Black and brown LGBTQ communities. Host Jacoby Cochran speaks with the co-hosts of WNUR’s Vintage House Show, DJ Lori Branch and archivist Lauren Lowery, about the roots of house music and renewed interest in the movement.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 30, 2022
The Biggest Wins (and Losses) on Primary Day
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Voters in Illinois headed to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots for Democratic and Republican nominees for local, state, and federal offices. The City Cast Chicago team recaps some of the key races including for Governor, Congress, and judges. Helpful Links from the 2022 Primary Election: Complete List of Winners from Illinois Board of Elections City Cast Chicago's Primary Prep Playlist Some Good News: Chosen Few Picnic & Festival 2022 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 29, 2022
Street Performer Andrew David Sings Life Into the Loop
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In case you couldn’t tell from the heat, summertime Chi is here. That means along with the tourists descending on the Loop, you’re also hearing the sounds of street performers downtown. The artists on these corners have an on-the-ground view of the city center during its busiest season. Host Jacoby Cochran asked one of those performers, Andrew David, to take him into this world. You can also catch Andrew tomorrow night at Impact House. Some Good News: Pride South Side Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 28, 2022
IL and PA Expect Influx of Abortion Patients as Roe Reversal Hits Nearby States Hard
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We knew it was coming. But on Friday, the country officially entered a post-Roe v. Wade world, where abortion is no longer a constitutional right. Illinois officials are reminding people that abortion remains legal here. But at a Friday rally just hours after the Supreme Court decision came down, demonstrators yelled, cried, and warned about troubles to come. We hear some of those voices, and we talk about what comes nexts for states like ours. Lead producer Carrie Shepherd talks with City Cast Pittsburgh’s Morgan Moody about an influx of abortion patients expected to come to Illinois and Pennsylvania, with surrounding states likely to restrict abortion even further. A little bit of news: Primary election day is tomorrow. Here’s where to drop off mail ballots. And here’s a playlist of primary episodes to get you pumped for the voting booth. Some good news: Win some prizes in the Chicago Public Library’s adult summer reading challenge. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 27, 2022
For Many in Chicago, the Pre-Roe World Meant a Call to the Janes
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This episode was originally published on June 7, 2022. The reversal of Roe v. Wade won’t end abortion — it will make access to safe abortion much more difficult. Before the Supreme Court’s landmark abortion rights decision women had to take dangerous measures to end a pregnancy. Seeing the need, a group of women based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood created a service that provided everything from counseling to rides to appointments. You called a number, and you asked for Jane. Laura Kaplan was part of the group, and she’s the author of “The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.” She spoke with lead producer Carrie Shepherd. “The Janes,” a new documentary featuring Kaplan and other former members, is now available on HBO. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 25, 2022
Citadel Moves to Miami, Cook County Assessor’s Race Heats Up. Plus, AEW Comes to Town.
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Summer officially started this week, and the City Cast Chicago team has put together a little summer bucket list to get you through the next few months. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to Chicago Tribune politics reporters Gregory Pratt and A.D. Quig about what they are planning to do this summer. Plus, billionaire Ken Griffin moving hedge fund Citadel to Miami, the Cook County assessor’s race, how CTA and the Parks are falling short with service right now, and the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Plus, moments of joy! Moments of Joy AEW coming to Chicago Celebrating House music  DanceAfrica Chicago: Roots Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 24, 2022
Amid Uncertain Abortion Access, New Play Centers the Fight in Englewood
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In her new play “The Billboard,” journalist, author, and playwright Natalie Moore tells the story of a fictional abortion clinic in Englewood and its fight with a City Council candidate who puts up a billboard declaring “Abortion is genocide. The most dangerous place for a Black child is his mother’s womb.” The clinic decides to fight back by putting up its own sign. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to Natalie about her play, the expected overturning of Roe v. Wade, and more. Check out our summer visitor's guide, and let us know what's on your must-do list. Call or text us at (773) 780-0246 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 23, 2022
The Fly Honeys Are Back to Celebrate All Bodies
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Are you familiar with The Fly Honeys? What was once a multi-weekend, sold-out production for a decade is being tailored to Thalia Hall for Pride this weekend with its iconic showcase of "high-kicking dancers, singers, ass shakers, emcees, nightlife performers, celebrated DJs and headlining guest artists - all backed by a nine-piece band.” Host Jacoby Cochran speaks to two of the people behind The Fly Honeys, Mary Williamson and Shannon Matesky, about their new live performance and how it’s a celebration of all bodies.  Some Good News Logan Square Arts Festival Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 22, 2022
Don't Just Guess. Here's a Guide to Voting for Judges.
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The political lore in Chicago used to be that if you didn’t know which judges to vote for, you should just pick the most Irish-sounding name. Really, there was a study that confirmed voters did this. But that's not an informed way to go to the polls. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to Maya Dukmasova and Charles Preston from Injustice Watch about the organization's Judicial Election Guide, and why it’s so important to really understand the candidates and the role they play in Cook County residents' lives. Some Good News: Where to get vaccines for kids under 5 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 21, 2022
Remembering Mama Gloria
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Trans activist "Mama Gloria" Allen died this week at the age of 76. To honor her memory, we're resharing our conversation with her from December. In the early 1960s, Gloria Allen, aka Mama Gloria, was ridiculed by teachers and fellow students at Englewood High School for being a “sissy.” Allen said no one knew back then what being transgender meant. But she always knew she was a girl, and with the support of her mother, grandmother, and some neighbors, Allen was able to embrace who she really was. Living that authentic life is what helped her when she experienced traumatic sexual violence. “Mama Gloria,” streaming now on PBS, is a documentary of Allen’s life in Chicago, including attending “Sissy Balls” in the 1960s and starting a charm school for young people. Allen talked with host Jacoby Cochran about the continued fight for transgender rights. Mama Gloria was a fixture at The Center on Halsted. Check out their website to find out more and get involved. This conversation was first published December 16, 2021. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 18, 2022
Demanding Safer Roads and More Trees. Plus, Iconic Lions Get a Bath!
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On Sunday, hundreds gathered to march from Lincoln Square to Uptown to memorialize two young children, 2 year old Raphael “Rafi” Cardenas and 3 year old Elizabeth “Lily” Grace, who were killed in recent traffic accidents. The families, neighbors, and advocates are demanding the city do more to protect bikers and pedestrians and hold motorists accountable. Freelance journalist Taylor Moore and WTTW’s Joanna Hernandez join host Jacoby Cochran to talk about what can be done to create safer roads in Chicago. We also look at Joanna’s series ‘Turning Pain Into Purpose,’ the inequitable planting of trees in neighborhoods, and celebrate our favorite Art Institute lions! Plus, Jacoby is everywhere this weekend! Catch him today on WBEZ's Nerdette and Reset and on WTTW's Chicago Tonight. You can also catch him Sunday at Schubas for Karaoke Storytellers and Monday at First Presbyterian for the "Reinventing Public Safety" forum. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 17, 2022
Our Love Letter to Harold's Chicken Shack: A Chi Institution
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Harold’s is more than a chicken spot — It’s a Chicago institution. There are stories of NBA MVP Derrick Rose getting bottles of their famous mild sauce brought to his home. Kanye West set a music video at Harold’s. It’s even been name-dropped by a certain former U.S. president. But somehow, even with dozens of franchise locations, it’s been able to maintain a community feel and remains a must-try for anyone coming to the city (but newcomers be warned: you better know your order before you get to the counter). Shakeia Taylor recently wrote about Harold’s legacy for the Eater. She and journalist (and City Cast friend) Arionne Nettles talk with host Jacoby Cochran about the history of the iconic chicken joint, their orders, and where the best (and worst) locations are. Plus, we hear from a former Harold’s franchise owner. In the newscast, we mentioned the lobbying efforts for the 2024 DNC to be held in Chicago. You can revisit our episode with City Cast Las Vegas — who’s also in the running — here. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 16, 2022
Pro Soccer Instead of Housing? Sounds Like Another Broken Promise
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When the former ABLA Homes on the Near West Side were torn down in the 2000s, the city promised to build new housing. But 20 years later, most of the planned units haven’t been built and most families never returned. Earlier this year, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a deal to develop the biggest plot of the former public housing complex, but it wasn’t for more housing. The land is set to be developed by the Chicago Fire, the city’s professional men’s soccer team, as a practice facility. ProPublica’s Mick Dumke has been investigating how this deal came together with “unusual urgency,” and he tells host Jacoby Cochran how it appears to be yet another broken promise in Chicago’s housing history.  A little bit of sad news: Trans icon and activist Gloria Allen, aka Mama Gloria, has died at the age of 76. We spoke with Mama Gloria in December. We are giving away two tickets to Karaoke Storytellers at Schubas on Sunday. To win, text us at (773) 780-0246 with your name, email, and go-to karaoke song. Learn more about the sponsor of this episode: Don’t Tell Comedy Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 15, 2022
What is the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District? Hint: They’re in Your Drains
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Early voting is underway for the June 28 primary. But sometimes you’re looking at a list of names, and you don’t even know what they’re running for. Host Jacoby Cochran has often felt that way looking at the list of candidates for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioners. What does the MWRD even do? To find out, we asked commissioner Kim Neely du Buclet, who is not up for election this year. As Jacoby mentioned, there are six cooling areas in the city. You can find out more info here. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 14, 2022
Jacoby and Carrie Take On Chi Trivia
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In honor of the Chicago Tribune’s 175th anniversary, the paper recently put out a Chicago history quiz. (Happy birthday, Trib friends!) Of course, we wanted to put our knowledge to the test. So we asked producer Simone Alicea to pick the best questions for a little trivia competition. From architecture, to politics, to sports, host Jacoby Cochran and lead producer Carrie Shepherd face off to see who knows the most Chi history. A little bit of news: Early voting starts today in all 50 wards. On Wednesday, Jacoby will face off against Shermann "Dilla" Thomas at Chicago Write Club. Jacoby will be defending Chicago parks while Dilla argues for the beaches. Which do you prefer? Let us know at (773) 780-0246 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 13, 2022
Pride at the Beach, School, and Clubs (And Not Just in June)
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Happy Pride month! Host Jacoby Cochran is looking back at some key stories from the week with Chicago Reader co-publisher Tracy Baim and Block Club Chicago reporter Jake Wittich, who covers Lakeview, Lincoln park, and Old Town. They discuss Chicago’s new AIDS Garden, a Pride march at a North Center elementary school, and the Reader’s Pride Issue. Tracy and Jake also make it clear while Pride is a month of celebration, we must continue to protect, uplift, and advocate for LGBTQ+ stories and lives all year round.  Catch Jacoby Wednesday evening at the Golden Dagger for Write Club Chicago. He’ll be facing off against Shermann “Dilla” Thomas debating Parks vs. Beaches. Jacoby is Team Parks. Which are you? Let us know at (773) 780-0246. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 10, 2022
Paseo Boricua is Changing, But Puerto Rican Pride Remains Strong
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Anyone who has ever walked by the Puerto Rican flag at Division and Western in Humboldt Park knows that Puerto Rican pride runs deep and strong in this city. The stretch known as the Paseo Boricua is the heart of the community. Starting Thursday, Fiestas Patronales Puertorriqueñas aka the Puerto Rican Festival returns including four days of celebration, a carnival, and a parade Saturday. Joshua Smyser-DeLeon grew up in the neighborhood and remembers attending the festival as a kid. He hosts “Paseo Podcast” where he explores all things Puerto Rico both here in Chicago and across the diaspora. Before Joshua joins the parade this weekend, he sat down with host Jacoby Cochran to talk about the history of Puerto Ricans in Chicago and the love he has for his culture and people.  Some Good News: Hyde Park Summer Fest is back Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 09, 2022
A Casino is Coming to River West. But How Do Neighbors Feel?
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Whether you’re for or against, a casino is coming to Chicago. The mayor and City Council have both approved a proposal from Bally’s to build a casino at the old Tribune publishing site in River West. Pending approval from the Illinois Gaming Board, the city’s first casino is projected to begin operating by 2026. Chicago leaders say the casino will be good for the city — especially for filling city coffers — but what do neighbors think? River West resident Sean Cogan tells Jacoby why he’s excited about the casino, and Streeterville resident Darren Monroe in explains why he thinks it’s a bad idea. Some Good News: Puerto Rican Festival in Humboldt Park starts Thursday. The four day fest will feature a carnival, food and drinks, live music, a Domino tournament and, of course, the parade Saturday at 2 p.m. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 08, 2022
Before Roe v. Wade, Woman Called ‘Jane.’ Here's Who Answered.
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The reversal of Roe v. Wade won’t end abortion — it will make access to safe abortion much more difficult. Before the Supreme Court’s landmark abortion rights decision women had to take dangerous measures to end a pregnancy. Seeing the need, a group of women based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood created a service that provided everything from counseling to rides to appointments. You called a number, and you asked for Jane. Laura Kaplan was part of the group, and she’s the author of “The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.” She spoke with lead producer Carrie Shepherd. “The Janes,” a new documentary featuring Kaplan and other former members, premieres Tuesday on HBO. Some good news: See the pod team at Chi Hack Night at 7 p.m. tonight in person and online. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 07, 2022
An Alderwoman Applied for Housing in 1993. She Got a Response Last Week.
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A tweet by 20th Ward Ald. Jeanette Taylor went viral last week. Taylor tweeted: “I first applied for an affordable housing voucher in 1993….Today in 2022 I finally got a letter telling me I made it to the top of the waiting list. I have no words.” Taylor talks to host Jacoby Cochran about how she thinks the Chicago Housing Authority is failing people in Chicago looking for affordable housing and what needs to change. Taylor’s Accountable Housing and Transparency Ordinance How to apply for CHA housing Some good news: Pride Arts Summer Film Fest Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 06, 2022
Finding Love, Home, and Yourself: Stories from Karaoke Storytellers
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Every song has a story — that’s the idea behind Karaoke Storytellers. Performers get up, tell a story, and then sing a song related to that story. The event is hosted by host Jacoby Cochran. At the April event, we heard stories about finding love, finding yourself, and finding your home. Today, we’re telling you some of those stories.  The next Karaoke Storytellers is on June 19 at Schuba's Tavern. Check back here for a chance to win tickets! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 03, 2022
What the City's New Casino Can Learn From Cabrini-Green's Broken Promises
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Yesterday, we explored the history of disinvestment and displacement at Cabrini-Green, Chicago’s infamous public housing complex on the Near North Side. The city began demolishing the high-rises in the 1990s, and the last one went down in 2011. But former Cabrini-Green residents are still fighting for what the city promised them: a chance to return to their community. Host Jacoby Cochran led a panel in January with journalists who investigated these broken promises, local historians, and others connected with Cabrini-Green to talk about where the community is now. This episode was originally published Feb. 1, 2022. Guests: Carol Steele — Cabrini-Green resident and public housing advocate Charles Price — Housing activist and former resident liaison at Cabrini-Green Alejandra Cancino — Reporter, “Cabrini-Green: A History of Broken Promises” This panel was put on in partnership with the Better Government Association. You can find the full conversation on their website.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 02, 2022
Destruction of Cabrini-Green Made Development of Bally's Casino Possible
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Last week, City Council approved the plans for a Bally’s Casino at the old Tribune publishing site in River West. The location at Chicago and Halsted is a couple blocks away from Cabrini-Green, a public housing development where thousands of residents were displaced beginning in the late 1990s. Promises were made that Black residents would be able to return with access to new homes, jobs, and opportunities. Most of those promises were broken. Host Jacoby Cochran looks back on the history of Cabrini-Green public housing with reporter Natalie Moore and talks to former resident J.R. Fleming. This episode was originally published on Jan. 27, 2022.  Read the Better Government Associations series, "Cabrini-Green, A History of Broken Promises." Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jun 01, 2022
Primary Prep: Crowded Field Compete for Center of Black Political Power in 1st District
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After 30 years, residents in the 1st Congressional District are preparing to elect a new Representative. Bobby Rush —co-founder of the Illinois Black Panther Party, a Chicago alderman, Civil Rights activist, and only politician to ever beat Barack Obama in an election — announced earlier this year he’s retiring. The 1st District stretches from the near South Side south to Bourbannais, and it’s long been a center of Black and Democratic political power. That means the next leader is inheriting a powerful history, but also faces challenges around economic development, housing, and public safety. Host Jacoby Cochran and The Triibe’s Tonia Hill meet up in Bronzeville to talk about the race, and the trouble of standing out when 17 Democrats and 4 Republicans are on the ballot. Early voting begins in Chicago Tuesday. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 31, 2022
Why TX Gov. Should Keep 'Chicago' Out of His Mouth, New Curfew Passes, and More Books!
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Earlier this week, after 19 children and 2 adults were gunned down at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott responded, “I hate to say this — there are more people that are shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas.” This repugnant, racist, and unempathetic response was met with quick scrutiny. Co-hosts of the movement building podcast AirGo, Damon Williams and Daniel Kisslinger join host Jacoby Cochran to offer their own criticisms of using Chicago as a political scapegoat for politicians unwilling to offer common sense solutions to gun violence. The trio also break down Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s 10 p.m. curfew for minors, the environmental justice fight to end “sacrifice zones,” and we’ve got some more book-themed good news you definitely want to stick around for!  Want to know more about AirGo? The hosts recommend these episodes: Damon: Angela Davis Daniel: The Abolition Suite Vol. 2: Mariame Kaba Some Good News: South Side Book Fair Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 27, 2022
How Tortilleria Workers Are Trying to Make The Workplace Better
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The El Milagro tortilla brand is strong in Chicago. You can find it in almost every grocery store, and you can often see people line up around the block of El Milagro factories, waiting to get hot, fresh tortillas. But in recent months, we all paid a little more attention to the workers in those factories as they became more vocal on calling out unsafe work conditions and low pay. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to Pedro Manzanares, a 52 year old who’s been working at El Milagro for 18 years, and City Bureau reporter Sarah Conway about labor organizing in food production companies across Chicago.  A little bit of news: Early voting has been moved again, now to Tuesday, May 31. Check out our episode with the Chicago Board of Elections for everything you need to know about primary voting. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 26, 2022
The Story of Meeting President Kennedy, Making History, and a 50-Year Fight for Justice
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In 1961, Abraham Bolden became the first Black Secret Service agent to serve on a presidential detail. Bolden says when he left Chicago and moved to D.C., it was like going from “heaven to hell,” and he faced constant racism from other agents. He says he also heard other agents say they wouldn’t protect President John F. Kennedy if there was an assassination attempt on his life because of Kennedy’s work on integration. Bolden spoke up, but ended up setting off a 50-year fight for justice. From his Auburn Gresham home, the 87-year-old tells host Jacoby Cochran what happened and how he got clemency from President Joe Biden last month. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 25, 2022
Leaving Home, Finding Fame, and the West Side Come Together on Saba’s ‘Few Good Things’
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City Cast host Jacoby Cochran recently joined the podcast Album ReBrews to drink beers from Funkytown Brewery and talk about Saba’s latest release Few Good Things. Jacoby and hosts Sarah Beidatsch and Zac Emry dissect songs from the album and discuss how they connect to the artist’s Chicago roots, especially in Austin on the city’s West Side. A little bit of news: The Daily Line talks ward remap at Hideout Wednesday  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 24, 2022
Primary Prep: Candidates Compete to be ‘Most Conservative’ in GOP Gov’s Race
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Early voting in the June primary begins Thursday in Chicago, and is already underway elsewhere in the state. There are six candidates running on the Republican ballot, and there’s already some big money being pumped into the race. WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky tells host Jacoby Cochran more about the people and issues shaping the race, including the big question of whether candidates are too conservative or not conservative enough.  Some Good News: Jacoby on Album ReBrews Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 23, 2022
Alders to Vote on Casino, Gov Bans ‘Ghost Guns’, and Cyclists Connect in North Lawndale
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This week, Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill requiring all firearms, gun kits, and 3D-printed guns to have a visible serial number, effectively banning “ghost guns,” while alderpeople got their questions and complaints in about the future Chicago casino. Host Jacoby Cochran breaks down these stories and more with Crain’s Chicago Business reporter Corli Jay and The Daily Line editor and City Hall reporter Alex Nitkin.  Stories This Week: Lightfoot pushing for Friday vote on casino Illinois becomes first Midwest state to ban 'ghost guns' City Council committee votes down 'Water For All' ordinance How Morgan Park High School's 2022 basball season was nearly washed away The South Side is getting a facility to turn food waste into natural gas Chicago Full Moon Jam Equiticity May Ride Series: The Musicality of North Lawndale Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 20, 2022
Summer Book Recs from Nerdette’s Greta Johnsen
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Whether your summer plans include sitting on the beach, taking a road trip, flying, or just staying home — you might be looking for something good to read. “Nerdette” host Greta Johnsen — who’s already read about 50 books so far this year — is here with her summer reading recommendations. She says they all fall into the theme of being transported somewhere, from a residential school for deaf children to 1920s New York to an African safari to a more ghostly Chicago.  Greta's List: True Biz by Sara Novic Trust by Hernan Diaz The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian When We Fell Apart by Soon Wiley This Thing Between us by Gus Moreno: What’s on your summer reading list? Let us know at chicago@citycast.fm or (773) 780-0246 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 19, 2022
GoodKids MadCity Say Curfews Aren't How You Solve Violence
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This week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot signed an executive order authorizing police to immediately enforce a 10 p.m. curfew for Chicago minors, who also aren't allowed in Millennium Park past 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday without a “responsible adult.” This is Lightfoot’s response to the death of 16-year-old Seandell Holliday, who was shot and killed near the Bean over the weekend. The mayor says these measures will help curb violence downtown, but research in other cities shows that curfews have little effect. How do young Chicagoans feel about being kept out of the city’s “jewel” of a park? Host Jacoby Cochran speaks with Assata Lewis, a restorative justice coordinator with youth violence prevention group GoodKids MadCity. She tells us this curfew will do little to reduce violence, indiscriminately criminalizes Chicago’s teens, and ignores alternative solutions like GKMC’s proposed Peace Book ordinance. A little bit of news: You can get another round of free at-home COVID tests in the mail at covid.gov/tests. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 18, 2022
Retiring Whitney Young Principal on What CPS Should Do Better
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After nearly 30 years at the helm, Joyce Kenner is retiring as principal of Whitney Young high school. The CPS selective enrollment school is routinely ranked among the top in the country, and you probably know some of their alumni like Michelle Obama. As the school year winds to a close, Kenner talks with host Jacoby Cochran at the school’s West Loop campus about her legacy, the culture she sought to build for students, and the role of selective enrollment schools in a district marked by inequities.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 17, 2022
From McDonald’s to Millionaire: Willie Wilson and the Story of Black Franchise Ownership
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Mayoral candidate Willie Wilson most recently made headlines as the giver of free gas, but have you wondered where he gets his giveaway money? The story starts with a global, but Chicago-based company: McDonald’s. Wilson started as a custodian at a McDonald’s in 1970, moving up to manager, and eventually franchise owner, setting the stage for him to make his fortune. Even though not every McDonald’s franchise owner had the same success as Wilson, the company did try to entrench itself in Black America beginning in the late ’60s by offering franchise ownership. But those opportunities had strings attached and allowed the company to create a narrative about its involvement in civil rights that veers from the truth, according to historian Marcia Chatelain. Chatelain is a Chicago native and author of “Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America,” which won a 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History. She tells Jacoby how McDonald’s did it. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 16, 2022
BONUS: The CHGO Sports Podcast: The Ultimate Chicago Road Trip
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The 2022 Bears schedule is now official, which means plenty of fans will be booking their flights across the country. But what's the best trip for every Chicago sports team? Jacoby Cochran was invited on CHGO Sports' latest episode of THE Chicago Sports Podcast to share his dream destinations.  Subscribe to THE Chicago Sports Podcast at CHGO Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 14, 2022
New Leadership at Improv Institutions, Chicagwa Takes, and What is a Lumpsucker?
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City Cast producer Simone Alicea is in the host chair this week to dig into some top stories around Chicago. She’s joined by two of the hosts of one of her favorite podcasts, “Hello from the Magic Tavern,” an improvised comedy chat show set in a fantasy world. Arnie Niekamp plays a fictional version of himself who fell through a magical portal in Chicago, and Matt Young plays his wizard co-host. Some of the stories they get into this week are the big names on the new advisory board at The Second City and the return of iO after it was previously announced it was permanently closing. Also, new fish at the Shedd, COVID numbers back on the rise, and Simone, Arnie, and Matt’s moments of joy. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 13, 2022
Primary Prep: Who's Running in IL 3rd District? And Where Is It?
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Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District was redrawn last year to include more of Chicago’s Northwest Side, including gentrifying neighborhoods like Logan Square and Avondale and longtime Latinx areas like Hermosa and Belmont Cragin, to western suburbs including Wheaton and Glen Ellyn. Two Democratic candidates have some name recognition as current office holders: Gilbert Villegas is 36th Ward alderman, and Delia Ramirez is the 4th District state representative. We talk to WBEZ politics reporter Mariah Woelfel about the issues each candidate is focusing on and what she’s hearing from voters ahead of the June 28 primary. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 12, 2022
Pinball, Gyms, and now a Casino? Bally’s Chicago History
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot has tapped Bally’s to be the first and only casino operator in Chicago. The decision still needs full City Council approval. The Bally brand actually started here in Chicago 90 years ago as part of a company called Lion Manufacturing, and they created an early pinball game called Ballyhoo. The company expanded to slot machines, arcade games, and eventually even amusement parks and gyms (remember Bally’s Total Fitness?) Host Jacoby Cochran talks to Tommy Henry from the Chicago History Podcast about Bally’s start here, and its significant role in gaming.  There's a community town hall at 7 p.m. Thursday at the UIC Isadore and Sadie Dorin Forum. It will also be livestreamed, Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 11, 2022
Sky’s the Limit: The Quest for Back-to-Back Titles
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The reigning WNBA Champion Chicago Sky began the 2022 season last Friday at home against the LA Sparks. Like most of the WNBA, the Sky are not yet at full strength with last season’s Finals MVP Kahleah Copper still playing overseas. The Sky were in a position to win the game but lost 98-91 in overtime. Don’t worry though it’s just one game with a long road ahead. Host Jacoby Cochran sat down with CHGO Sky Podcast co-host Janice Scurio to review the offseason and preview the 2022 season. And of course we ask Janice, can the Sky become the first back-to-back WNBA Champs in twenty years? Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 10, 2022
CPS Leader Pedro Martinez on Budget: ‘Equitable Doesn’t Mean Enough’
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Chicago Public Schools’ enrollment has dropped by more than 100,000 students in the last twenty years. And in Chicago, fewer students mean less money for a school. While the median school will see an increase of about $80,000 dollars next year, the 2022-2023 budget proposal has 40% of schools losing an average of $220,000 dollars, mostly in Black and brown neighborhoods. Despite cuts, district CEO Pedro Martinez calls this budget, “CPS’s most equitable ever,” claiming many schools will see investments in new teachers, smaller class sizes, and more support staff. As some parents, principals, and teachers say these cuts continue a vicious cycle of disinvestment in neighborhood schools, we sit down with Pedro Martinez to address ongoing concerns. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 09, 2022
Roe v. Wade Impact, Chi Casino is Really Coming, and the WNBA Champs are Back!
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Earlier this week, a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court’s conservative majority signaled the end of Roe v. Wade. Even as Illinois has strengthened its access to abortion care, Chicago’s reproductive justice activists are scared of what the impending decision will mean for women here and across the country. Block Club Chicago reporter covering Logan Square, Humboldt Park and Avondale Mina Bloom, and WBEZ criminal justice reporter Patrick Smith join host Jacoby Cochran to react to that big news, as well as Bally’s getting closer to operating the city’s first casino, recent fires at homeless encampments in Avondale and Uptown, and Friday’s season opener at Wintrust Arena for the the reigning WNBA champion Chicago Sky.  Other stories discussed: New research detects the most likely criminal ‘crews’ inside CPD Logan Square farmers market opens Sunday Jacoby will be on the Album Rebrews podcast to review Saba's latest album "Few Good Things" Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 06, 2022
Modern Gospel Was Born on the South Side. Here’s Its Story.
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Gospel music has roots in southern spirituals during slavery and migrated north during the Great Migration in the early 1900s. Chicago has staked its claim as the birthplace of modern gospel thanks to Bronzeville’s Pilgrim Baptist Church and Thomas Dorsey, its choir director for 50 years. In the 1930s, Dorsey blended the style and chords of blues music with the praise and worship of traditional gospel hymns, and iconic singers like Mahalia Jackson took the sound global. We talk with writer and producer Stacy Robinson about the new WTTW documentary “Birth of Gospel” and Chicago’s place in music history. It will premiere Friday at 8 p.m. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 05, 2022
Chi Abortion Rights Activists: ‘We Told You This was Going to Happen’
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Reproductive rights activists in Chicago are kicking into high gear after a draft majority opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court was leaked this week. In the opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, the court’s conservative majority signals it will soon overturn Roe v. Wade. Chicago Abortion Fund head Megan Jeyifo says activists have been sounding the alarm and preparing for this for years. Even though Illinois has laws on the books to protect the right to get an abortion if/when Roe is overturned, Jeyifo tells host Jacoby Cochran how her organization is gearing up to help more people, especially those seeking abortion care from other states. Chicago Abortion Fund-A-Thon For more ways to support reproductive justice in Illinois, check out our daily newsletter. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 04, 2022
From Naperville to Nepal: Lucy Westlake is Climbing Mount Everest
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Lucy Westlake isn’t walking at graduation this spring with her class at Naperville North High School. That’s because the 18 year old is preparing to be the youngest American woman to summit Mount Everest. She graduated early last fall, and she previously broke the world record for youngest female to climb to the highest points in all 50 states. She’s also climbed the highest points on four of the seven continents. Westlake called City Cast producer Simone Alicea from a Mount Everest base camp. Lucy’s GoFundMe Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 03, 2022
Everything You Need to Know About Voting in Chi
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Early voting in Illinois’ primaries begins in just a few weeks. After getting a new voter registration card in the mail, a City Cast listener reached out to us with several voting questions. Producer Simone Alicea, a Chicago transplant, also had questions about how to vote here. That’s why we reached out to Max Bever with the Chicago Board of Elections. He tells us everything you need to know about voting, including deadlines, what’s on the ballot, and all things vote-by-mail after the state expanded access to mail-in voting during the pandemic. The primary is June 28. Check your voter registration in Chicago and Illinois, and read our primary guide. Plus, we still want to know: What's something that's normal in Chicago that's weird elsewhere? Tell us in a voicemail at (773) 780-0246, and we might use it on the pod! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 02, 2022
Gas Cards Are Coming, Another Metal Shredder, and Big Union Wins!
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This week, the Chicago Reader and its former co-owner ended a month-long stalemate that threatened the future of the beloved alt-weekly. Len Goodman, and three allied board members, agreed to step down, clearing the way for the Reader to transition to a nonprofit structure. Two of the paper's writers, Kelly Garcia and Katie Prout, explain what why there's been an impasse for the last five months and what the future of the Reader is. They also discuss with host Jacoby Cochran a controversial metal scrapper in Pilsen, a new study on the rise of carjacking, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $12.5 million transit relief plan. And, make sure you stick around until the end, where our moments of joy will leave you smiling from ear to ear! TELL US! What's a Chicago thing that is weird to people outside Chicago? Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 or email us: chicago@citycast.fm Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 29, 2022
CPS School Ratings Are Going Away. What Will Replace Them?
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This week, five of Chicago’s selective enrollment high schools ranked among the county’s top 100 high schools, according to U.S. News and World Report. But until recently, Chicago Public Schools had its own ranking system: the School Quality Rating Policy. It rated individual schools’ quality from best-performing (Level 1) to needing the most support (Level 3). But after critics said the system punished low-rated schools for factors outside of their control, the Chicago Board of Education voted Wednesday to direct CPS to create a new accountability system. WBEZ education reporter Sarah Karp is here to break it down. A little bit of news: City Council approved Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $12.5 million plan to give away free gas cards and CTA passes to eligible Chicagoans. Here’s where to apply. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 28, 2022
In Chicago, Nature is Closer Than You Think
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When you live in a big city like Chicago, it can be really easy to forget just how much nature is available to us. Cook County has more than 70,000 acres of forest preserves. Our wetlands, prairies, woodlands, and savannas are home to hundreds of native plants and animals. Conservationists and organizers are working year-round to preserve these spaces and educate residents. As Chicago gets its spring colors — and the birds, butterflies, and river otters reemerge — we talk to someone whose passion is getting people outside and protecting those lands for the future. Brenda Elmore of Friends of the Forest Preserves tells Jacoby about how she got into the outdoors and why she wants to educate others. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 27, 2022
From UIC to Starbucks, Unions are Having a Moment
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**UPDATE** The Graduate Employees' Organization tweeted late Monday night that the strike was suspended. The podcast is updated to include that news. Statement from UIC about a tentative agreement After a year without a new labor contract, the graduate student union at the University of Illinois Chicago went on strike last week. Bargaining continues around wage increases, student fees, healthcare costs, and more. On Monday, the union sent a letter to Gov. JB Pritzker warning the standoff with the UIC administration will do “serious long-term damage to our students’ learning and to the university’s reputation.” The momentum around labor organizing is not just picking up on campus. Workers are fighting for better conditions across industries, from corporations like Amazon and Starbucks to smaller, local companies like tortillerías. We talk to Jeff Schuhrke, a labor historian and professor at UIC, about the importance of this moment. Schuhrke also did his graduate work at the university and was once part of the Graduate Employees' Organization that’s on strike.  Some good news: Zine Club Chicago Online: Poetry Zines Edition Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 26, 2022
Ald. Nicole Lee Aims to Chart New Course for 11th Ward
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A month ago, Nicole Lee was appointed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot to finish the term of former 11th Ward Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson, following his conviction for tax fraud. An alderperson’s responsibilities include voting on legislation, constituent services, allocating resources to the ward, and more. Lee is a third-generation Chinatown resident, Whitney Young alumna, and she most recently led community engagement at United Airlines. Lee is Chicago’s first Chinese American alderperson, in a city where Asian Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group. Her appointment comes at a critical time as the ward remapping process continues. The two proposed maps each redraw the 11th ward as the city’s first Asian American–majority ward. We visited Ald. Lee at her Bridgeport office ahead of her first full City Council meeting Wednesday.  Some Good News: ChiTeen Lit Fest 2022 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 25, 2022
Do Cameras Make Us Safer? Plus, Masks Off (Again) and the Great Potato Salad Debate
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After a judge struck down the federal mask mandate on planes and public transit, Gov. Pritzker revoked the state’s mask policy on buses and trains. Soon after, CTA, Metra, and Amtrak, along with rideshare companies and airlines began moving to mask-optional policies. Harvey World Herald founder Amethyst Davis and Block Club Chicago’s Jamie Nesbitt Golden join us and tell us why they are keeping their masks on for the time being. We also discuss weekend plans across the city, our favorite cookout dishes, and the proliferation of security cameras in both Harvey and Chicago. Share this episode with just one friend and help us grow the City Cast Chicago network!  Stories discussed this week: Patti LaBell's Mac and Cheese CPD's use of license plate cameras Bronzeville trail campaign kickoff Check out The Other Art Fair Chicago April 21-24 in Fulton Market. AND! Get 30% off The Other Art Fair with the Code: CITYCAST (One word) Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 22, 2022
Chicago Improv Alums Matt Walsh and Brad Morris Take on Tech Dependency in ‘Unplugging’
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“Unplugging” opens in theaters this weekend in Chicago and suburbs. Eva Longoria and Matt Walsh star as a married couple who leave Chicago for a rural, getaway meant to be a digital detox. But things take a turn. City Cast Chicago host Jacoby Cochran sat down with Walsh and co-producer Brad Morris to talk about the creation of the movie and what it really means to be unplugged from a world run by technology. They also discuss Walsh and Morris’ Chicago upbringing and how their time on the improv scene here shaped their careers.  Check out The Other Art Fair Chicago April 21-24 in Fulton Market. AND! Get 30% off The Other Art Fair with the Code: CITYCAST (One word) Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 21, 2022
The Illinois Lottery Comes From A Bronzeville Parlor Game
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The Illinois Lottery as we know it today with Pick 3, Pick 4, and Mega Millions games has its roots in a 19th century parlor game known as “Policy.” Brought to Chicago in the 1880s, Policy was popularized in South and West side communities and sold as an opportunity to change families' lives. Sound familiar? In fact, during the height of play in the 1930s and '40s, more than $20 million annually flowed through nearly 4,500 Policy locations. The “Policy Kings,” as they were called, became the Robin Hoods of the neighborhood, helping build businesses and wealth in otherwise disinvested areas. Host Jacoby Cochran talks to the Chicago History Museum’s Charles Bethea and local tour guide Beatrice Hardy about how Policy was integral to the development of Bronzeville, Chicago’s Black Metropolis.   Check out The Other Art Fair Chicago April 21-24 in Fulton Market. AND! Get 30% off The Other Art Fair with the Code: CITYCAST (One word) Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 20, 2022
New Podcast Makes Oprah a College Level Course
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Oprah Winfrey—aka “The Queen of Talk”—covered everything from veganism to the L.A. Riots to Dr. Phil (yeah, she had some misses, too) over 25 years of her classic talk show, which started here in Chicago in 1986. “Oprahdemics,” a Radiotopia from PRX podcast that digs into the enormous cultural impact of Oprah’s talk show, digs into the icon as a cultural syllabus. Host Jacoby Cochran sits down with historians and co-hosts Dr. Kellie Carter Jackson and Dr. Leah Wright-Rigueur to talk about some of the Oprah show’s most iconic moments, and which ones didn’t age so well.  Check out The Other Art Fair Chicago April 21-24 in Fulton Market. AND! Get 30% off The Other Art Fair with the Code: CITYCAST (One word) Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 19, 2022
'You Want Harold, You Got Him': How Harold Washington Beat the Machine
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Friday, April 15, would have been Harold Washington’s 100th birthday, and centennial celebrations continue this week. More than 30 years after his death, Chicago’s first Black mayor is still lauded as the leader who rocked the Democratic machine that had reigned supreme at City Hall. In addition to galvanizing Black voters in 1983, he built a coalition of Latinx, LGBTQ, and progressive white Chicagoans. Journalist Laura Washington (no relation) worked in Mayor Washington’s office. She tells Jacoby what made the former mayor so magnetic, unifying, and special. We also look ahead as candidates, including incumbent Lori Lightfoot, gear up for another mayoral campaign to see what Washington’s legacy can tell us about today. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 18, 2022
CTA Safety, Sky High Grocery Bills, and Let's Go Bulls!
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Earlier this week a man opened fire on a New York City subway train shooting 10 people and injuring 13 more. This tragedy, alongside four recent incidents of violence on or near CTA trains and buses, has renewed conversations about safety on public transit. Today, City Cast Chicago Host Jacoby Cochran is joined by the Chicago Tribune’s Stephanie Casanova and The Marshall Project’s Ghazala Irshad to look back on this story and others. We also discuss rising price of groceries, the Bulls’ playoff matchup against the reigning NBA champs, and these cute, colorful birdhouses in Roscoe Village.  Come hang out with us at Karaoke Storytellers this Sunday! Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 15, 2022
Wondering What Your Alderperson is Doing All Day?
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City Council members have a lot of meetings. But how many of the full council, committee, and subcommittee meetings do they actually attend? WBEZ, The Daily Line, and Crain’s Chicago Business analyzed records from 526 meetings between May 2019 and December 2021, charting our alders’ attendance. The highest attendance rate was 93%, and the lowest was 54%. Guess which of those rates belonged to freshman alders and which were from Council veterans. WBEZ’s Claudia Morell and The Daily Line’s Erin Hegarty break down the numbers with City Cast Chicago Host Jacoby Cochran and discuss if they will have any impact on next year’s election cycle. Here's where you can check your alder's score. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 14, 2022
How to Make Ukrainian Easter Eggs
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In Ukrainian culture, “pysanky” is a centuries-old form of decorating eggs. In fact, it predates Easter itself. Using eggs, beeswax, and dyes, artists "write" colorful and elaborate art works embedded with deep meaning. When celebrating a wedding, moving to a new home, or simply praying for good fortune, Ukrainians are likely to receive a few pysanky eggs from family and friends. City Cast Chicago Host Jacoby Cochran talks with Anna Chychula, a Ukrainian-American artist, about the history of pysanky and how the celebration of this cultural tradition during the Easter season brings the community together as war between Ukraine and Russia continues. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 13, 2022
While Cubs Rebuild, Sox Chase Championship Dreams
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The temperatures are rising, spring is here and baseball is back! The White Sox (2-1) have their home opener today against the Seattle Mariners. They beat the Tigers in Detroit in the first series this season. The Cubs (2-1) also won at Wrigley Field against the Milwaukee Brewers in their opening series. But despite the similar starts, the two teams couldn’t be more different this season. The North Side Cubbies are in rebuild mode, while the South Side sluggers are chasing championship dreams. Here to talk about the crosstown rivals with City Cast Chicago Host Jacoby Cochran are WBEZ’s Cheryl Raye Stout and Herb Lawrence of the new CHGO White Sox Podcast. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 12, 2022
Chicago and Vegas on Shortlist for DNC. But Do We Want It?
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Chicago and Las Vegas have emerged as top candidates to potentially host the Democratic National Convention in 2024. Chicago most recently hosted the convention in 1996, when Bill Clinton became the presidential nominee. And the city hosted several party conventions before that, including the 1968 DNC marked by police riots in Grant Park and the Republican National Convention of 1860, where Abraham Lincoln was named the presidential nominee. On the other hand, the 2024 DNC would be Vegas’ first. Jacoby talks with City Cast Las Vegas Host Dayvid Figler about whether either city is a fit. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Leave us a voicemail: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 11, 2022
E-Scooters are Coming, the Battle for Life Rings Continues, and a Few Karaoke Classics...
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The city announced that nearly 4000 E-Scooters are returning to streets next month. Divvy, Lime, Superpedestrian and Spin are the providers responsible for a safe, smooth, and equitable rollout. Speaking of rollout, a new casino is coming to Chicago, and community meetings were held this week in the South Loop and River West. There's also a new bill in the Illinois House that, if passed, would require life rings along the lakefront, plus a new reimbursement program for Chicagoans buying security cameras. City Cast Chicago Host Jacoby Cochran catches up on these stories and more with CBS Morning Reporter Marissa Parra and CW Chicago TV Host Brandon Pope. And we’ve got some great moments of joy, including Karaoke Storytellers, Art on the Mart (which starts tomorrow), and Pope’s new WCIU and Block Club Chicago TV show, “On The Block.” And don't miss Marissa's story about the friendship between a trash collector and a 3-year-old in South Loop! You can catch Jacoby's 2020 Snap Judgment episode here. For more of the latest happenings in Chicago, sign up for our daily newsletter right here on our website: chicago.citycast.fm Follow us on Twitter! @CityCastChicago Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 08, 2022
Have You Heard of the Spine Collector? This Evanston Writer Has.
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For ten years, Evanston writer Peter Baker had been working on his first novel, and he was eager to get it out into the world. So he wasn’t skeptical when he received an email from his agent in the fall of 2020 requesting a copy of his manuscript as a Microsoft Word file. He sent it along. Then he got a call from his agent asking why he'd sent his novel to him. That's right, Baker had been scammed by “The Spine Collector,” as the FBI has called him. "The Spine Collector" is allegedly a 29-year-old in London who attempted to con writers, including well-known authors like Margaret Atwood and Anthony Doerr, into sending him their unpublished manuscripts. Baker talks with City Cast Chicago Host Jacoby Cochran about what happened when he inadvertently sent his debut novel to the “Spine Collector," and how that event affected him as a writer.  Baker's novel, PLANES, will be released May 31. Some Good News: Art EXPO is back at Navy Pier's Festival Hall starting tonight. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 07, 2022
South Siders Split on Building Tiger Woods Golf Course
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The Obama Presidential Center isn’t the only major development hoping to call Jackson Park home. For years, Tiger Woods’ design firm TGR Design has proposed a PGA-caliber golf course on the South Side. The proposed 18-hole course would combine the Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses, complete with new facilities, practice holes, and a $30 million underpass at 67th and South Shore Drive. But it could also mean the loss of affordable greens, removal of trees, and potential destruction of the South Shore Nature Sanctuary as it currently exists. We talk with Tracy Raoul, Chairperson of Jackson Park Golf Association, Emily Dupree, the Hyde Park resident behind the Twitter profile Save Our Sanctuary. Rendering of course from TGR Designs Full statement from Chicago Park District: "As the City’s leading greening stewards, the Chicago Park District is committed to preserving and expanding the city’s parkland and tree population within our 8800-acre footprint. Our commitment is underscored by the fact that we plant 3000 trees annually and converted nearly 1100 acres of underutilized space to valuable parkland over the past decade. These investments improve our communities and greatly contribute to the lives of children and families throughout our city. As with any capital endeavor that requires the removal of trees, the District is committed to replacing each tree as part of the project scope. The Jackson Park/ South Shore document released is a draft proposal and any references related to reducing the tree count has not been considered or approved by the Park District, and therefore should not be considered a finalized plan.”   It's the last day to let us know what you think of our daily newsletter, and enter to win a $100 Visa gift card! You can find the survey here. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 06, 2022
Why Are Block Clubs So Chicago?
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During a public safety press conference Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced efforts to invest in the development and expansion of block clubs citywide. Lightfoot’s idea is that stronger block clubs will contribute to neighborhood security and morale. For a century, Chicago has had an enduring, complicated, and nostalgic relationship with these small volunteer-based community groups. They began to assist African-Americans moving to Chicago from the South, but they’ve also been used to foster white solidarity in support of segregation. Block clubs have also led beautification efforts, and block parties across Chicago neighborhoods. City Cast Chicago Host Jacoby Cochran talks with Dr. Amanda Seligman, author of Chicago’s Block Clubs: How Neighbors Shape The City, about the history of these clubs. Some Good News: Steppers' Night at eta Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 05, 2022
‘Blind Spots,’ Coverups, and Denying Mental Health Care: Podcast Investigates Illinois Prisons
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In 2018, three guards brutally beat Larry Earvin at Western Illinois Correctional Center, where Earvin was incarcerated. He died weeks later. One of the guards pleaded guilty, and the other two are on trial right now in Springfield. Earvin’s death was the beginning of WBEZ’s investigation into Illinois prisons, which is explored in this season of the podcast, “Motive.” City Cast Chicago's Jacoby Cochran talks to reporter and host Shannon Heffernan about what she uncovered, and what she hopes listeners will take away when talking about incarceration and punishment.  Public meetings for Chicago casino finalists Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter (and if you've been reading it for a while, it's not too late to take the survey, and enter to win a $100 Visa gift card in the process!): chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 04, 2022
Questioning Police Narratives, Trans Visibility Day, and Brown Sugar Bakery Love!
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This week, South Side Weekly’s Chima Ikoro and freelance journalist and professor Arionne Nettles break down the big stories of the week and the ones that need more hype, plus offer their moments of joy. We highlight the new season of WBEZ's podcast “Motive” investigating abuse in rural Illinois prisons, discuss the death of two Black transgender women, and reflect on separate incidents of police violence during the summer of 2020 and how recently obtained photos and videos challenge CPD’s official narratives. Chima and Arionne leave us with some poetic and sweet moments of joy! Check back on Monday when WBEZ reporter and Motive host Shannon Heffernan joins us. Take our newsletter survey and you could win $100 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-024 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Apr 01, 2022
Newly Obtained Images Show CPD Excessive Force During Columbus Statue Protests
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This week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot asserted the Christopher Columbus statue would eventually return to Grant Park. The city removed the statue in July 2020, a week after police clashed with protesters demanding its removal. While the Mayor has placed the blame on “vigilantes who attacked officers,” the Chicago Reader and South Side Weekly report that newly-obtained images reveal that police officers indiscriminately arrested and attacked protesters. Now, one of the police officers who was struck a protester is facing termination, despite the objections of CPD Superintendent David Brown. The Reader’s Jim Daley walks us through what happened back in 2020, and what's next. News: The city could have its new Inspector General. Listen to Jacoby's interview with former IG Joe Ferguson who retired last October. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 31, 2022
'Abbott Elementary's' Chris Perfetti Fulfills Dream with Steppenwolf's 'King James'
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Actor Chris Perfetti wasn’t a big basketball fan growing up. But he was a big Steppenwolf Theatre fan. So when he got the chance to star in the world premiere of “King James” at the famous Lincoln Park theater, he took it. The play is only partly about LeBron James and basketball; it’s more about friendship and the way sports help forge bonds. Perfetti also stars as Jacob in the hit ABC sitcom “Abbott Elementary,” and talks with City Cast Chicago Host Jacoby Cochran about working on the play and the show. "King James" is running through April 10. Find out more and get tickets at Steppenwolf.org. Some Good News: The National Museum of Mexican Art's exhibit “Frida Kahlo, Her Photos” opens on Friday. If you read our newsletter, make sure you head on over to chicago.citycast.fm/survey to give us your feedback and help make the newsletter even better (and be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card)! Not familiar with the newsletter? Check it out and sign up for those awesome daily emails at chicago.citycast.fm/newsletter You can also follow us on Twitter @CityCastChicago Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 30, 2022
What Illinois Can Teach Texas About Cannabis
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Recreational weed has been available in Illinois since 2020. Meanwhile, in Texas, a Democratic gubernatorial challenger is pushing to legalize cannabis while the Republican incumbent resists the idea. That may sound familiar to Illinois voters. Gov. JB Pritzker ran on legalizing marijuana four years ago, and while the rollout has been rocky, he’s counting it as a big win heading into this year’s election. City Cast Houston’s Lisa Gray and City Cast Chicago’s Jacoby Cochran talk about the status of legal weed in both states, and Jacoby offers his tips on what Texas should watch out for as they inch toward legalization. It’s a crossover episode! Some good news: Chicago Trans Visibility Pageant Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 29, 2022
Do Chicagoans Get Answers at Town Halls?
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Homicides this year in Chicago are on track to be similar to last year, one of the deadliest years in decades, and carjackings are up 50 percent. Some residents want more police on the streets, on the CTA, and in neighborhoods. But there’s also pressure to invest in mental health facilities, community development, and alternatives to police. In an attempt to address concerns, the city is hosting a series of town halls across Chicago. So far, there has been a virtual meeting for North and Northwest Side residents, and in-person events at Garfield Park on the West Side and Chicago State University on the South Side. These town halls aren’t new, so are residents really getting the answers they are looking for? Producer Simone Alicea has been covering the town halls and answers that question.  Public Safety Town Halls Some Good News: Jacoby hosts "The Moth" at Evanston SPACE Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 28, 2022
New 11th Ward Alder, Casino Finalists, and Perfect Parking
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This week the City Cast Chicago team is together in person bringing you the best podcast and newsletter in Chicago. Lead producer Carrie Shepherd, producer Simone Alicea, and host Jacoby Cochran talk about how they treat themselves. And they're sharing the stories that captured their attention this week, including the first Asian American woman to join the city council and the new casino set to come to the city. We've got some great moments of joy for you like Carrie's perfect parking job and Jacoby’s visit to the East Side neighborhood to check in with Stephen Walsh the director of the documentary, “Southeast: A city within a city.” Check out our September 2021 episode with Walsh.  Stories discussed: Lightfoot's pick for 11th Ward Alder: Nicole Lee Sports Betting Brings Tax Windfall — And a Surge in Problem Gambling Illinois' child welfare system remains troubled despite cash influx Council members ask for environmental reviews on city bids Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm (where you can see a photo of Carrie's master parking) Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 25, 2022
A Chicago Heiress, Miniature Murder Scenes, and the Birth of Forensic Science
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Frances Glessner Lee was from one of early Chicago’s most prominent families, living on one of the cities wealthiest blocks — Prairie Avenue, now a historic neighborhood in the South Loop. She also basically created forensic science. Lee created miniature death scenes that would help police better investigate crimes by considering all the different scenarios that could happen. And to say these recreations were detailed is an understatement. Lee would dress the corpses. The doorknobs and the keys for the doors actually worked. There was a tiny little mouse trap, and if a tiny little mouse had stepped on it, it would have actually gone off. In an unusual move for the time, Lee's parents educated her and her brother in the same way, preparing her to work in a male-dominated field. City Cast’s Simone Alicea learns more about Frances Glessner Lee from Glessner House executive director Bill Tyre ahead of a celebration of the mother of forensic science. Friday's celebration is sold out. But you can book tours at the Glessner House, where a recreation of one of Lee's models will now be available to see. Some Good News: Jurassic Park Concert at CSO Take our newsletter audience survey Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or Text Us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 24, 2022
IL’s Aging Undocumented Population is Living — and Dying — In the Shadows
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By 2030, Illinois could be home to 55,000 people over the age of 65 living without citizenship, according to a 2020 Rush University survey. Despite living in the country for decades and paying taxes, many undocumented seniors (two thirds of which are Mexican immigrants) lack access to federal social safety nets, public housing, and secure employment. According to the Chicago Tribune’s Laura Rodriguez Presa and Injustice Watch’s Carlos Ballesteros, “this generation of immigrants faces the prospect of having lived and died in the shadows.” We sit down with both journalists to understand the uphill battle for thousands of vulnerable older adults. Take our newsletter survey! (You could win $100) Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or text us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 23, 2022
Facebook Could Owe You $400. Here’s Why.
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Chicago attorney Jay Edelson filed a lawsuit against Facebook in 2015, claiming the social media giant violated his client’s privacy, specifically Illinois’ biometric privacy law, considered one of the strictest in the country. Facebook settled the class-action lawsuit in February 2021 for $650 million, and that settlement was upheld in a federal court of appeals late last week. That means eligible Illinois residents could get a $397 check from Facebook in the next 60 days. Edelson explains the lawsuit, and how privacy laws continue to change. Wonder if you're an eligible claimant? Check here. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 22, 2022
Pandemic Life Two Years Later
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Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay-home order went into effect two years ago today. It’s been two years of change, uncertainty, and loss. Since City Cast Chicago launched last year, we’ve talked to public health leaders, teachers and parents, and business owners about how they’ve managed during the pandemic. We look back on some of those conversations, and we hear your stories about the early days of the pandemic. Thanks to all of our listeners who shared their stories. You can also go back and revisit our conversations with Dr. Allison Arwady, Chicago’s top public health official, a CPS teacher and a parent, and a restaurant manager. Here's where you can find the COVID-19 vaccine around the city. A little bit of news: The city is hosting a community meeting on public safety Wednesday at Chicago State University. There will be other meetings around the city over the next two weeks. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 21, 2022
BONUS: How J.P. Graziano Became the Gucci of Giardiniera via It's All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast
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We're doing a pod swap this week with our good friends at Block Club Chicago. In this episode, "It's All Good" host Jon Hansen and Block Club reporter Mack Liederman talk about the Grazianos, a family-run, generations-old wholesale business that sells sandwiches, beef kits, giardiniera and designer T-shirts. Now, the shop is enjoying its most profitable years ever. Take a listen then subscribe to "It's All Good." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 19, 2022
Willie Wilson’s Gasathon, 'The Billboard' Play, and Music Fest Fever
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As we celebrate one year of the City Cast Chicago podcast and newsletter, we are so excited to look back on another week in our favorite city. Block Club Chicago’s Atavia Reed and WBEZ’s Natalie Moore are showing Englewood some love today as we talk Natalie’s new play “The Billboard: A Play About Abortion” which is set at a “fictional Black women’s health clinic” in the neighborhood. And we recount Atavia’s visit to the Go Green Community Fresh Market, a new grocer finally serving the community after years of hard work. With spring around the corner, we are also dreaming about festival season. The trio hops around the city as we discuss some of our favorite music, literary and “green” festivals.  Stories This Week: "The Billboard: A Play About Abortion" Newly Opened Go Green Community Fresh Market In Englewood Hailed As A ‘Milestone’ After Years Of Work Versa reversal: ‘Women-powered’ Chicago festival canceled Major traffic jams caused by Willie Wilson’s $200K gas giveaway Chicago Festival and Event Guide Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 18, 2022
12 Hours on the Red and Blue Lines. What Happened?
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Last week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, and CTA President Dorval Carter to announce a $71 million plan to increase security on trains and buses. That's the city’s response to increased reports of violence, unsanitary conditions, and smoking on the CTA. Reporter John Greenfield from Streetsblog Chicago rode the Red and Blue lines last weekend for 12 hours straight to document whether the CTA really did feel dirtier and less safe. He tells us what he saw. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 17, 2022
So THAT's Chicagoans' Biggest Complaint?
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If you need snow shoveled in your neighborhood, a pothole filled, or rats cleared in your alley, you call 311. Since 1999, Chicagoans have been able to call 311 for non-emergency complaints and requests, and they’ve been calling. Chicagoans dial 311 more often per capita than any other major city. While some of the reasons people call aren’t surprising, Axios Chicago’s Monica Eng says 311 operators can be like residents’ own Google — you can call about anything from how to track a flight to how to buy a home. Monica crunched the numbers and she shares what Chicagoans complain about most. More about Chicago's 311 Axios Chicago's story about 311 There’s still time to tell us about the last normal thing you did in 2020 before COVID shutdowns. Leave us a voicemail at (773) 780-0246. Remember to tell us your name and neighborhood! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 16, 2022
For This Student and Teacher, Art Is Their Language
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The Chicago Academy for the Arts is not like all schools. Students are immersed in their art, whether it’s theater, dance, or visual arts. It gives them a special connection with their teachers because they spend three hours each day with the teacher in their chosen discipline. And because the fields are so interactive, it made remote learning extra difficult. We talk to 15-year-old Lea Gassner and her teacher, Margy Stover, about the challenges of practicing art during the pandemic.  We still want to hear your stories about what you were doing two years ago, as COVID shutdowns hit Chicago. Leave us a voicemail at (773) 780-0246. Remember to leave your name and neighborhood! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 15, 2022
Meet the Private Citizens Making Data More Public
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Since the start of the pandemic, public health leaders have told us they’re following the data to make policy decisions, and that we should do the same. These decisions include everything from whether kids can do in-person learning, if we can eat indoors, and when or where we could travel. But for the average person, data can be confusing, or even misleading. Meet three Chicagoans who used their free time and skills to make public health data more accessible and understandable.  Guests: Jakob Ondrey—CPS Covid Tracker Cait Guerra — Businesses with Vax and Mask Mandates Anthony Moser—Better Data Portal Some Good News: Chicago Pi Day Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 14, 2022
More Cops on CTA, Ukrainian Resilience, and Fun Weekend Plans
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Two first-time guests join us to look back on the week. Chicago Sun-Times reporter Cheyanne Daniels joins us from a march in Chatham honoring of the birthday and legacy of Harriet Tubman. And Block Club Chicago’s Quinn Myers joins us from Ukrainian Village, where he covers West Side neighborhoods. Together we discuss CTA increasing unarmed security and police officers patrolling locations, stories of Chicago’s Ukrainian community coming together, and some fun things to do this weekend! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 11, 2022
In Avondale, Polish Music Is Replaced By Construction
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Jackowo used to be the heart of Chicago’s Polish community, in a city that once had the second highest population of Polish people in the world. Warsaw had the most. The neighborhood, which many Chicagoans know as Avondale on the Northwest Side, has changed from Polish to Latino in recent decades, and continues to change as residents get priced out of Logan Square and Wicker Park. That’s meant the stretch of Milwaukee Ave. once surrounded by Polish restaurants, clubs, bakeries is less retail and more condo buildings. We talk to Mary Wisniewski and Joanna Marszalek, who have both lived in Jackowo and wrote about it recently for Chicago magazine. Guests: Mary Wisniewski and Joanna Marszalek—Co-authors, "The Death (and Possible Rebirth) of Jackowo" Call or text us at 773-780-0246 and tell us what you were doing right before the pandemic shutdown in 2020. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 10, 2022
How South Siders Are Fighting to be Part of Obama Center 'Transformation'
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Construction is underway on the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. But since the project launched, residents in nearby neighborhoods like Woodlawn and South Shore have worried the “transformation” the center is expected to bring to the South Side could push them out of their homes. They’ve fought for a community benefits agreement to ensure protections, but project leaders — and the former president, himself — have rejected calls to sign one. So what is a CBA? And without one, how else are housing activists fighting displacement? Guests: Dixon Romeo — Organizer, Not Me We Sarah Conway — Senior Reporter, City Bureau Here’s City Bureau’s guide on community benefits agreements and alternatives. Check out the Women's L Project, which celebrates women of Chicago's past and present. Call or text us at 773-780-0246 and tell us what you were doing right before the pandemic shutdown in 2020. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 09, 2022
‘Love is Blind’ Chose Deepti Vempati. Deepti Chose…Herself.
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Netflix’s reality dating show “Love Is Blind” has captivated global audiences. The show follows 30 strangers on a series of blind dates, as they get to know one another through a wall with no idea of what the other looks like. If two people connect, one of them can propose marriage, and they finally see each other in person. Season two of the show features a cast from Chicago, and one of this season’s biggest stars was Deepti Vempati. The 31-year-old IT analyst captured the world’s attention when she ultimately chose herself in the reality dating show. Host Jacoby Cochran sits down with Vempati to discuss her experience on the show, and how she feels about finding true love. (In case it’s not clear, SPOILERS ahead). Guest: Deepti Vempati—Season 2 participant, Love is Blind Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 08, 2022
Chicago's First Maskless Weekend
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This past weekend was the first since the city and state lifted indoor mask mandates. Businesses, restaurants, and entertainment venues will set their own rules moving forward. The City Cast team checked in to see how places across Chicago are managing. They report from a gym in Uptown, a small concert in Ukrainian Village, a restaurant in Humboldt Park, and theaters in Lakeview and the Loop.  How are you feeling about the end of the mask mandate? Call or text us at (773) 780-0246. And remember to leave your name and neighborhood! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 07, 2022
Mighty Madigan Falls, Lightfoot Makes, uh, Big Claim, and Happy Birthday Chi!
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It was another busy week across the city of Chicago. WBEZ’s Mariah Woelfel and Axios Chicago’s Justin Kaufmann stopped by to break down the 22-count federal indictment of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, once Illinois’ most powerful politician. The group also tackles Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s latest communication snafu, an investigation into yet another Covid testing company, and the fate of CPS’ mask mandate.  Guests: Mariah Woelfel—Politics Reporter, WBEZ Justin Kaufmann—Newsletter Writer, Axios Chicago PS: If you haven’t heard, City Cast Chicago was named the "Best Podcast" in Chicago Reader’s Best of 2021 list, so thank you! You can see the full list of winners here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 04, 2022
Is Kanye Still a ‘jeen-yuhs?’
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Whether it’s a public feud with ex-wife Kim Kardashian, impromptu speeches during a problematic, and confusing, presidential run, or a traveling album rollout, Kanye West is always in the news. For most of Ye’s polarizing music career, controversy, scrutiny, and art have gone hand in hand. But there was a time before Kanye West was a household name. Back in 2000, he was a Chicago music producer trying to break into the rap game. This is where the Netflix documentary “jeen-yuhs: A Kanye trilogy” begins. Directors Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah intimately chronicle Ye’s slow and uncertain climb to fame, his relationship with his late mother Dr. Donda West, and the of arc of his 20-year career. Host Jacoby Cochran talks with music and culture writer Britt Julious about the nostalgia and disappointment present in “jeen-yuhs” and also its subject (you can read here review of "jeen-yuhs" here). Guest: Britt Julious — Music and culture writer Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 03, 2022
CPS Discrimination Lawsuit Highlights Need for Black Male Teachers
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Ten years ago, Vivonell Brown was a teacher at Woodson Elementary in Bronzeville, on track to become a principal, when he lost his job. And he wasn’t the only one: More than a hundred Black educators were laid off or fired from schools CPS deemed to be underperforming. Brown and two other teachers filed a discrimination lawsuit in 2012, which finally reached a settlement in December. Lack of representation is still a problem in Chicago schools, especially for Black male educators. Host Jacoby Cochran talks with Brown and middle school teacher Kirby Birgans about their experiences as students and teachers, and the importance of representation at the front of the classroom. Kirby is a member of the Black Male Educators Alliance of Illinois, which aims to recruit and retain Black male teachers. You can find out more on the settlement here. Here's the full statement from CPS: “Chicago Public Schools aims to provide a welcoming, equitable and safe teaching and learning environment for staff and students. On Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education will vote on a settlement between the Chicago Teachers Union, Local 1, and CPS relating to layoffs that disparately impacted African American teachers and paraprofessionals resulting from the turnaround policies around certain CPS schools in 2012, 2013, and 2014. The agreement concludes nearly 10 years of litigation and will result in the creation and distribution of a settlement fund to benefit those staff members affected by the turnarounds. Resolving this matter is in CPS students’ best interest and will allow the District to move forward with its continued focus on providing a high quality education that is grounded in equity for students in every city neighborhood. As a District, we will continue efforts to recruit and retain a diverse faculty that reflects our student population."  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 02, 2022
Why Illinois' Richest Man is Spending Big on Republicans
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If you thought Ken Griffin was running for governor in Illinois, we wouldn’t blame you. Whenever there’s news about Republican candidates, you usually see his name too. That’s because the richest man in Illinois has pledged to go “all-in” to finance a Republican to defeat Democratic incumbent (and fellow billionaire) JB Pritzker. The two last went dollar-for-dollar in 2020, when Griffin dropped nearly $54 million to beat Gov. Pritzker’s income tax measure. Griffin’s political spending is only growing, so we asked A.D. Quig of Crain’s Chicago Business to tell us more about who he is, why he’s backing Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin for governor, and what he’s looking to get for his money. A little bit of news: Insight Hospital in Bronzeville, formerly Mercy Hospital, is accepting emergency ambulances again. Go back and listen to our conversation about the history of the hospital and the fight to save it. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mar 01, 2022
'I Wish for Them to Have Peace, Freedom': Chicago Ukrainians React to Russian Invasion
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The Chicago area is home to nearly 54,000 people of Ukrainian ancestry, the second-largest in the U.S. Many Ukrainians here are scared and confused, waiting to reach friends and family in Ukraine as Russia invades the country. That’s why Chicago Ukrainians are taking to the streets. Host Jacoby Cochran and lead producer Carrie Shepherd take us to a rally in Ukrainian Village. A little bit of news: Here’s where to sign up to find out more about the city’s basic income pilot program. Applications open in April. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 28, 2022
How Chi Remains Segregated, Masks to (Maybe) Come Off, and Cute Animal Stories
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On Wednesday, alderpeople authorized the city to spend $700,000 to buy a now-vacant Aldi in West Garfield Park. But it’s not yet clear if the city will actually acquire the property, if it will ensure a new grocer takes over, or how long it could take. While WTTW’s Heather Cherone was watching City Hall, she and her colleagues also launched a series looking at the history and present-day effects of segregation in Chicago. She talks about both of these stories with City Cast’s Jacoby Cochran and Simone Alicea. They also talk about the mask mandate ending Monday and share some cute animal stories, including one about otters in the Chicago River. Stories discussed: FIRSTHAND: Segregation — A Year-Long Exploration of Segregation in Chicago City Council Approves Plan to Buy Closed West Side Aldi (and check out our Wednesday conversation) Why Rogers Park Hare Krishnas Are Worried About Proposed Development Chicago to Lift Indoor Mask, Vaccine Mandates Monday ‘Hank the Tank’ Offers a Vision of a Better Life River Otters Are Back in Chicago “Women of Soul” at Mercury Theater Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 25, 2022
Why Hare Krishnas in Rogers Park Are Worried About Proposed Development
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Since 2017, a developer has been pushing for rezoning in Rogers Park so he can turn a 100-year-old vacant building at 1710 W. Lunt Ave. into a modern 20-unit housing complex, including four affordable housing units. Like with most construction projects happening across the city, neighbors have voiced concerns about the preservation of the building and decreased parking. However, on this block, the loudest opponents are the members of the Hare Krishna temple next door. The congregation says they are concerned about how this development would impact their religious practices. As 49th ward Ald. Maria Hadden decides on the future of this development, we sit down with Block Club Chicago reporter Joe Ward and Subal Dasa, one of the managing directors of the temple. Some good news: Black History Month events this week across the city! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 24, 2022
Grocery Stores Abandoned West Garfield Park. Will the City Step In?
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There are currently no grocery stores operating in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. An Aldi that operated there for three decades suddenly boarded up their doors in October, and now the Save-A-Lot is temporarily closed after failing a health inspection. Losing a grocery store has big consequences for people living in the neighborhood. It means longer commutes, higher prices, and losing access to healthy foods. It means a community where the average life expectancy is 16 years lower than that of neighboring white, affluent communities is left even more vulnerable to malnutrition and illness. The city could step in to buy the vacant property and facilitate a new grocer coming into the neighborhood. Community members are demanding that whoever moves in be held accountable to its neighbors. WBEZ's Linda Lutton and Director of the Garfield Park Rite to Wellness Collaborative TJ Crawford join host Jacoby Cochran to discuss what’s next for West Garfield Park. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 23, 2022
The Reader Paved the Way for Alt-Weeklies. What About its Future?
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The future of the Chicago Reader is in question. After years of money troubles and ownership changes, the 50-year-old paper is set to become a nonprofit to gain financial stability. But the transition has been delayed because of a dispute between the Reader’s current owners over its leadership. The Reader has been an essential part of Chicago’s media landscape — at one point, its classifieds were so coveted that people would steal copies from the printing press before they were distributed — and longtime journalist Mark Jacob argues the Reader’s owners should come to an agreement to save the storied paper. Jacob has written about the dispute and the Reader’s 50th anniversary, and he talks with host Jacoby Cochran about why the Reader is so important in Chicago. Guest: Mark Jacob — Freelance writer and editor Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Call or text us: (773) 780-0246 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 22, 2022
Pandemic in the Church, Southeast Side Recycling Decision, and the All-Star Game
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After years of being continuously delayed, the Southeast Side recycling permit decision is set to be officially announced in the coming days. Block Club Chicago reporter Maxwell Evans and WBEZ's Adora Namigadde sit down with host Jacoby Cochran to unpack the possible health and environmental effects of this decision. They also discuss vaccination views in the church, a proposed vacancy fraud bill, places they find peace in the Chi, and their moments of joy!   Stories we talked about: What happens when communal worship goes online? For some, it’s a chance to grow in faith. City Will Rule On Controversial Southeast Side Metal Scrapper’s Permit By End Of Week These COVID-19 treatments help patients avoid the hospital. Who’s getting them? Moments of Joy: Chicago Theatre Week 2022 Pullman House Project Lets Visitors Explore Living Spaces Behind Industrial Powerhouse, From Workers’ Apartments To Pullman’s Estate All-Star Game Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 18, 2022
This Man Helped Popularize Chinese Food. But His Death Remains Mysterious
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In the early 1900s, Chin Foin’s restaurants helped popularize Chinese food among white Americans. Chicago’s King Yen Lo, King Joy Le, and The Mandarin Inn served an upscale version of what you would have found in the city’s chop suey joints along with American fare on white table linens while a performer sang opera in the background. Chin’s restaurants were popular among politicians, gangsters, and other Chicago elite. But in 1924, he fell down an elevator shaft and died. Chin’s death was ruled an accident, but granddaughter Nancy Wang questions that narrative. She tells Jacoby Cochran her grandfather’s story. Guest: Nancy Wang — Co-director, Eth-Noh-Tec Theater Wang’s play “Shadows and Secrets” explores her grandfather’s mysterious death. She’s working to put it up next year in San Francisco. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 17, 2022
As Pandemic Drags On, Domestic Violence Continues to Rise
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Two years into the pandemic, domestic violence cases continue to rise as victims are stuck at home with the people who harm them and are isolated from outside communities that may be able to offer help. Earlier this week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined advocates to remind domestic violence victims and survivors what resources are available to them. Amanda Pyron is executive director of The Network, which runs the state’s domestic violence hotline, provides training for advocates, and connects victims with resources. We talk to Pyron about the misconceptions around domestic violence and what resources are still needed. Guest: Amanda Pyron — Executive Director, The Network Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline: 877-863-6338 (877-TO END DV) There's also an option to Live Chat for help Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 16, 2022
OjaExpress Delivers Slice of Home
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While other kids were bringing turkey or bologna sandwiches to school, Boyede Sobitan was packing jollof rice with goat meat. Sobitan grew up in Uptown and suburban Dolton, and he remembers how difficult it was for his Nigerian mother to get the traditional ingredients she needed. Often it meant spending all day at specialty markets that were far from where they lived. That’s why Sobitan and his business partner Fola Dada created OjaExpress, a delivery app for ethnic foods. Lead producer Carrie Shepherd talks with Sobitan about how it works and why having access to your cultural food is so important. Guest: Boyede Sobitan—Co-founder, OjaExpress Some Good News: Funkytown Brewery and Grown Folks Stories at Haymarket Pub and Brewery Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 15, 2022
Cute Couples, Roller Skating, and Other Chi Love Stories
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On this Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating love in Chicago. When we hiked with the couple behind the popular TikTok “Black People Outside,” we couldn’t get over how cute they are. Kam Stanton and Chevy Linear tell us how they got together. We also revisit our conversation with Dario Durham and Sara Faddah, who says doing the podcast “77 Flavors of Chicago” is like “tricking people into listening to us on date night.” But it’s not all about romantic love. Host Jacoby Cochran shares a love story about his family’s skating rink. Plus, we hear your Chicago love stories. Go back and listen to Kam and Chevy talk about raising the visibility of Black people in the outdoors and hear Sara and Dario talk more about their food traditions and visit Mikkey’s Grill in Avalon Park with Jacoby. Read Jacoby's story about his family's skating rink in "Storytellers' True Stories about Love." Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 14, 2022
Masks Off, No West Side Groceries, and Roller Skating Love!
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Governor JB Pritzker has announced that Illinois is on track to remove the statewide mask mandate by February 28. The Chicago Department of Public Health echoed the Gov’s message and said if COVID cases and hospitalizations continue to decrease the city could also drop the mandate at the end of the month. Lead Producer Carrie Shepherd, Producer Simone Alicea, and Host Jacoby Cochran break down the latest in the mask debate and, also discuss the absence of grocery stores in West Garfield Park, warming temperatures, and their moments of joy! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 11, 2022
Time to Go Back to the Theater?
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Live theater is a huge cultural and economic pillar in Chicago. But it’s no surprise that theaters have struggled since the start of the pandemic. With Chicago Theatre Week starting next Thursday, we check in with a critic to see how the industry is doing in its third pandemic season. Chicago Reader’s Kerry Reid tells producer Simone Alicea about how theaters are getting back to live performances, especially as omicron subsides, and she recommends some shows to watch.  Guest: Kerry Reid — Theater and Dance Editor, Chicago Reader Chicago Theatre Week runs Feb. 17-27. We want to hear your Chicago love stories for a Valentine’s Day podcast. Leave us a voicemail with your name, neighborhood, and story at (773) 780-0246.   Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 10, 2022
50 Films for 50 Years at Gene Siskel Film Center
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In 1972, Camille Cook started the Film Center at the School of the Art Institute Chicago to screen auteur, independent, and international films. What started in a room at Tribune Tower, then a basement at the MCA, then an auditorium at the Art Institute is now Gene Siskel Film Center on State Street. In addition to screening films, it features director Q&As and lecture series. For its 50th anniversary, the Gene Siskel Film Center is weekly screening a film from each year it’s been open. We talk to the executive director and director of programming about the history, running a theater during a pandemic, and how to narrow it down to just 50 films. Guests: Jean de St. Aubin — Executive Director, Gene Siskel Film Center Rebecca Fons — Director of Programming, Gene Siskel Film Center We are collecting your Chicago love stories! Leave us a message with your name, neighborhood, and story at (773) 780-0246. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 09, 2022
Operation Silver Shovel and a Six-Story Dump
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The city announced last week a $38 million redevelopment of a vacant 21-acre industrial lot in North Lawndale. As a part of the INVEST South/West initiative, the project would feature freight operations, a job training center, and even public park space. But about 30 years ago, this vacant land was home to an illegal dumping site. It was also the key location in “Operation Silver Shovel,” a federal anti-corruption investigation into dozens of city and state officials. Robin Amer investigated this shady past in the USA Today podcast “The City.” Robin reminds us this dump was located in the middle of a residential neighborhood across from a school, church, and in a neglected community.  Guest: Robin Amer — Senior podcast producer, Washington Post Some Good News: "Women of Soul" at the Mercury Theater Share your Chicago love stories! Leave a message with your name, neighborhood and story at: (773) 780-0246 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 08, 2022
Meet Harvey's One-Person Newsroom
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Over the last several decades, the south suburban Harvey has gone from a model town, home to thousands of manufacturing jobs and Dixie Square Mall, to a community with a dwindling population and increased poverty. To make things worse, the primarily Black city hasn’t had its own newspaper for decades, so most of the coverage of these issues comes from outside the city and it’s not really for Harvey residents. That’s where the Harvey World Herald comes in. The online publication went live Jan. 31st with a one-person newsroom dedicated to bringing local news back to the community. That one person is Amethyst Davis. Davis is part of the Tiny News Collective. With the help of big names like Google and Reuters, the collective helps bankroll news operations in places that have been underserved by media. Davis joins host Jacoby Cochran to talk about growing up in Harvey and the challenges of reviving news in the city. Guest: Amethyst Davis — Founder, Harvey World Herald We are collecting Chicago love stories. Tell us about how you fell in love IN or WITH Chicago, and we might feature your story on the podcast or in our newsletter. Call or text us at (773) 780-0246 or send us an email at chicago@citycast.fm. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 07, 2022
Sexism in Family Court, Van Dyke's Early Release, & Kenwood's Hoop Dreams
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For six months, Chicago Reader and Injustice Watch have been investigating allegations of sexism, inappropriate behavior, and bias by Judge Raul Vega, the formerly highest ranking judge in the domestic violence division at Cook County Circuit Court. Now, under a growing trail of complaints, Vega is retiring. Not only will formal inquiries into his behavior end, but the judge will be allowed to keep his $14,000 a month pension. Chicago Reader reporter Kelly Garcia led the investigation and breaks down that story and more news of the week. We're also joined by Chicago Reader’s social justice reporter Adam Rhodes. They discuss the early release of Jason Van Dyke, the former Chicago police officer who murdered Laquan McDonald in 2014, and Kelly shares her birthday love for Saba’s new album, “Few Good Things.” Guests: Kelly Garcia—Reporter, Chicago Reader Adam Rhodes—Reporter, Chicago Reader   Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 04, 2022
Pritzker's Spending Plans and Why Budgets Matter
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Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday outlined his 2022 state budget proposal. The Democrat painted a picture of a healthier and more fiscally sound Illinois. Host Jacoby Cochran breaks down what you need to know about this year’s budget, and we take a look back at a less rosy period in Illinois budget history — the two years we didn’t have one. The budget impasse from 2015-2017 led to cuts in social services. New research from Northwestern University links the deadlock to a spike in youth homicides around the same time. Producer Simone Alicea talks with one of the authors of the study. Guest: Maryann Mason — Professor, Feinberg School of Medicine Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 03, 2022
Are We Doomed?
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You’ve been feeling it, right? That existential dread about everything that’s wrong in the world. The feeling that the world is going to end — and soon. Every year, scientists in Chicago try to pinpoint just how close we are to “doomsday.” And they do it with the Doomsday Clock. The clock was created here in 1947 at the request of scientists who worked on the atomic bomb at the University of Chicago. Since then, the clock has moved closer to midnight when existential threats increased and further away when the world became safer. The clock currently stands at 100 seconds to midnight — the closest it’s ever been. The clock is maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Bulletin President Rachel Bronson explains how we use the clock and why we are where we are today. Guest: Rachel Bronson — President/CEO, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists All this month, we're sharing your Chicago love stories in our newsletter. Email us at chicago@citycast.fm or call or text us at (773) 780-0246. And you have until noon today to vote for City Cast Chicago as Best Podcast and Best Newsletter in Chicago Reader's Best of 2021 poll! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 02, 2022
'We Know Promises Were Broken': Cabrini-Green After Demolition
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Last week, we explored the history of disinvestment and displacement at Cabrini-Green, Chicago’s infamous public housing complex on the Near North Side. The city began demolishing the high-rises in the 1990s, and the last one went down in 2011. But former Cabrini-Green residents are still fighting for what the city promised them: a chance to return to their community. Host Jacoby Cochran led a panel with journalists who investigated these broken promises, local historians, and others connected with Cabrini-Green to talk about where the community is now. Guests: Carol Steele — Cabrini-Green resident and public housing advocate Charles Price — Housing activist and former resident liaison at Cabrini-Green Alejandra Cancino — Reporter, “Cabrini-Green: A History of Broken Promises” This panel was put on in partnership with the Better Government Association. You can find the full conversation on their website.  Wednesday is the last day to vote City Cast Chicago as Best Podcast and Best Newsletter in Chicago Reader's Best of 2021 poll. Find us under the City Life category. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 01, 2022
Here’s Why the City Should Shovel the Sidewalks
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In Chicago, the city is supposed to clear the streets after it snows. But the sidewalks? That falls on property owners. As one might expect, building and home owners aren’t always great about shoveling a clear walkway for pedestrians. Not shoveling also creates a problem for people with disabilities. The pedestrian advocacy group, Better Streets Chicago, says rather than relying on our neighbors to do it, the city should clear the sidewalks like it does (most) streets. We talk to one of the organizers behind that public push. Plus, you can’t talk snow in Chicago without the perennial debate about dibs. We share your thoughts on the practice of staking claim to a your freshly-shoveled parking space with, well, whatever you have around. Guest: Michael Podgers—Organizer, Better Streets Chicago Plow the Sidewalks Petition Some Good News: DCASE "Year of Chicago Dance" Our episode "Let's Go Chicago Stepping" Wednesday is the last day to vote City Cast Chicago as Best Podcast and Best Newsletter in Chicago Reader's Best of 2021 poll. Find us under the City Life category. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 31, 2022
CPS COVID Data, Ye's Unsanctioned Basketball Showcase, and Homemade Baby Food
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Throughout the school year, Chicago Public Schools have claimed their COVID dashboards provide accurate data for COVID-19 cases district-wide and in individual schools. But the district quietly changed how those numbers were reported. One CPS parent and web engineer noticed that while cases across the district increased as omicron surged in Chicago, cases weren't being assigned to individual schools, making school counts seem lower. While CPS said it made the change in December, parent Jakob Ondrey said he didn't see the data diverge until the day the Chicago Teachers Union voted to move to remote learning. We’ve got Tonia Hill and Matt Harvey from The Triibe joining us to break down this story and more, including: Donda Academy’s unsanctioned basketball showcase, the perils of shoveling snow, and some good news to send you into the weekend! Stories Discussed: Donda Academy Homecoming Did CPS fudge COVID-19 numbers? Flowers for King Louie The sun is setting later We're talking Chi winter customs next week, and that means talking about dibs. How do you feel about it? Do you do it? Do you move people's objects? Call or text us at (773) 780-0246 or email us at chicago@citycast.fm. And tune in Saturday at 1:30 p.m. for a virtual conversation, moderated by City Cast Chicago host Jacoby Cochran, about the legacy of Cabrini-Green. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 28, 2022
'They Want That Skyline': How Cabrini-Green Residents Were Displaced
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For nearly 50 years, thousands of Black Chicagoans called the 23 high-rise towers and adjacent row houses of Cabrini-Green home. Soon after cutting ceremonial ribbons, the public housing development on the Near North Side would become a symbol of the Chicago Housing Authority’s mismanagement, disinvestment, and abandonment. As resources and opportunities disappeared, Cabrini-Green gained an infamous reputation as violent, run-down, and overcrowded. But the community was also on some of the most lucrative land in Chicago — and politicians and developers knew it. Beginning in the early 1990s, city leaders announced plans to tear down the high-rises and row houses for new mixed-income housing, promising thousands of residents they could live in those new homes. That didn’t happen. City Cast Chicago is partnering with the Better Government Association for their investigation “A History of Broken Promises.” WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore and former Cabrini resident and housing activist Willie “J.R.” Fleming lay down the history of the community.  At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jacoby Cochran will be hosting a virtual conversation about the history of Cabrini Green. Register now. Some good news: Friday is Girls Day of P.L.A.Y at Chicago Parks. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 27, 2022
DeMar DeRozan’s Unlikely MVP Season
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Bulls small forward DeMar DeRozan was a four-time all-star when he was with the Toronto Raptors. But when he came to Chicago this season after a lackluster few years in San Antonio, many fans and analysts were skeptical the 13-year veteran could still bring it. So far, the haters have been proven wrong. DeRozan has played a key role in bringing the Bulls back to life, especially as a leader for an otherwise young team. K.C. Johnson has been following the Bulls for more than three decades, and he explains how DeRozan’s career has made him hungry for success in Chicago. Guest:  K.C. Johnson — Bulls Insider, NBC Sports Chicago A little bit of news, y'all: UIC has a new map showing what's causing pollution by schools. The 25th annual Fillet of Solo Festival is being held virtually. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 26, 2022
Combating Mental Health Stigma? There’s an App for That
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When Ariana Alejandra Gibson was growing up, she didn’t have an outlet for talking about her father who had schizophrenia. A boyfriend’s father even once said that his son couldn’t have children with Gibson because then their children would also have schizophrenia. She felt shamed and stigmatized for her father’s illness and figured others probably did too. So she created the STIGMA app, which allows users to share their personal struggles and stories and even ask for a message of hope. Gibson found sometimes just hearing, “You are not alone,” can help a lot. Gibson is also partnering with BRAVE, which can connect users with mental health professionals. Gibson talks to host Jacoby Cochran about the origin of the app and how a social experiment in her neighborhood helped her decide she needed to create it. Guest: Ariana Alejandra Gibson — Founder, STIGMA App Some Good News: "Gem of the Ocean" at Goodman Theatre Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 25, 2022
Let's Go Chicago Stepping
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Chicago is the birthplace of many dance styles, like the polka hop, the cha-cha slide, and, of course, stepping. For Black Chicagoans, stepping is a rite of passage: You learn it when you’re young and you have to be ready to hit the moves at family picnics or at the club. Chicago transplant — and City Cast Producer — Simone Alicea wondered how stepping entered the dance vernacular. We talk to Kiana Moore, who comes from a family of stepping legends, and she and her husband, Mack McKinney gives Simone a lesson.  Guests: Kiana Moore and Mack McKinney—City Cast Stepping Instructors News: How to get free N95 masks from the government Some Good News: Tentflix and Chill at Lottie's Pub Join Us! Join City Cast, the Better Government Association, and CatchLight Local on Saturday for a conversation about the examination of Cabrini-Green, the taxpayer-financed redevelopment of one of the only Black neighborhoods on the city’s North Side. Jacoby is the host! Get tickets now. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 24, 2022
Covid Testing Scam, Bulls End Losing Streak, and Has Omicron Really Peaked?
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We got a lot of COVID news this week. Some good, like maybe Chicago has passed its Omicron peak. Some decent, like free tests available online. And some very bad, like a massive COVID testing scandal. WTTW correspondent Angel Idowu and Chicago Sun-Times education reporter Nader Issa join host Jacoby Cochran to break down these stories and more.  Here's the article Nader mentioned: "Murders of students amid the pandemic strain schools’ ability to cope, heal" Guests: Nader Issa— Education reporter, Chicago Sun-Times Angel Idowu— Arts correspondent, WTTW BGA and City Cast Chicago Present: Navigating the Story of Cabrini-Green: Jan. 29 at 1:30 p.m. hosted by Jacoby Cochran Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 21, 2022
The A.V. Club Just Got a Lot Less Chicago
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The A.V. Club was founded as a sister publication of The Onion in 1993 for “people immersed in pop culture and entertainment media to an obsessive degree.” But the Chicago-based online publication is feeling a lot less Chicago after staffers here were told by their parent company, G/O Media, they had to move to LA or lose their jobs. All seven Chicago-based employees have decided to leave the company, saying the company left them little choice in asking them to relocate to a more expensive city without changing their salaries. A.V. Club film editor Alex Dowd, who writes under the byline A.A. Dowd, shares why he’s leaving the company and what he thinks the pop culture site will lose by pulling out of Chicago. Some good news: The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival begins Thursday. Remember to vote for City Cast Chicago as Best Podcast and Best Newsletter in the Chicago Reader’s “Best of Chicago 2021” poll under the “City Life” category. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 20, 2022
The Original Slow Cooker Was Born in Chicago
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Irving Naxon invented the Crock-Pot, originally called the Naxon Beanery, in the 1930s. He got the idea from his Orthodox Jewish mother who tossed ingredients in a pot to cook cholent overnight for Shabbat. Cooking on Shabbat was forbidden, but this method allowed her to still serve a hot meal. The Crock-Pot was sold at big Chicago department stores like Sears and Montgomery Ward, and it was marketed as an efficient and inexpensive way to make dinner, especially for working mothers. We talk to Irving Naxon’s daughter, Lenore, who has become the unofficial historian of the Crock-Pot. If you haven't yet, remember to vote for us as Best Podcast and Best Newsletter in the Chicago Reader's "Best of Chicago 2021" poll under the "City Life" category. Some Good News: Tomorrow Never Knows 2022 starts tonight! Find out more info and get tickets on their website. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 19, 2022
Is Enforcing the Restaurant Vaccine Mandate Like 'Asking for a Fight'? Depends Where You Are.
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Chicago’s proof of vaccine requirement at bars, restaurants, and live music venues has been in effect for two weeks. It’s been a welcome addition for some business, workers and customers, but some say enforcing it has been a headache. Chicago Tribune’s Joel Noel tells us the reaction depends on where you are in Chicago. We also hear from a concert coordinator at City Winery about the various responses to mask and vaccine proof mandates she’s heard from customers during the pandemic. Guests: Josh Noel, reporter for the Chicago Tribune and author of "Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out" Jessi Roti, concert coordinator at City Winery Chicago The City Cast Chicago hotline: (773) 780-0246 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 18, 2022
CPS is Back After Standoff, Bears Keep Disappointing, and Vote for Us!
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It was a long news week in Chicago, as the teachers union and Mayor Lori Lightfoot fought over whether kids and teachers should be in the classroom. That disagreement meant no class at all for a week before returning Wednesday. This week was also the end of the Bears’ disappointing season, which led the team to fire head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace. WTTW’s Paris Schutz and City Cast Chicago’s Simone Alicea break down those stories, and more. Plus, the good news is City Cast Chicago is nominated for “Best Podcast” and “Best Newsletter” in the Chicago Reader, and host Jacoby Cochran has a story in the new anthology, “Storytellers' True Stories about Love.” Guests: Paris Schutz—Host and reporter, Chicago Tonight Simone Alicea—Producer, City Cast Chicago Some Good News: Vote for City Cast Chicago for “Best Podcast” and “Best Newsletter” in the Chicago Reader’s “Best of 2021” poll Read Jacoby’s story in the anthology, “Storytellers' True Stories about Love.” And tell us your Chicago skating stories by emailing chicago@citycast.fm or texting or calling (773) 780-0246. Other stories discussed: CPS students to walk out Friday  Bears Chairman George McCaskey talks about the end of the season New judicial subcircuits in Cook County Aurora Mayor considering run for governor  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 14, 2022
New Documentary Takes Us Inside Juice WRLD
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Chicago rapper Juice WRLD had a meteoric rise, going from dropping tracks on SoundCloud to becoming Billboard’s Top New Artist in less than four years. When the 21-year-old died in 2019 from a drug overdose, it sent shock waves across the city and world of music. A new album and documentary released in December continues to tell the story of the young artist and his music’s frank exploration of addiction and mental illness. We talk to Chicago music writer Mark Braboy about Juice WRLD’s impact and dig into what Braboy calls the artist’s darkest album.  Guest: Mark Braboy — Freelance Music Journalist Watch “Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss” on HBOMax. Stream the album “Fighting Demons.” Check out Live Free 999, the foundation supporting mental health and addiction intervention programs started by Juice WRLD’s mom, Carmela Wallace. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 13, 2022
The Black Arts Movement is Still Speaking to Chicagoans
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You may have heard host/producer Ayana Contreras on Vocalo or WBEZ, bringing soul music to the airwaves and diving into the stories behind the songs on the show, "Reclaimed Soul." Her first book, “Energy Never Dies: Afro-Optimism and Creativity in Chicago,” came out a few weeks ago, and takes those stories — and many others — to the next level by exploring the lasting impact of Chicago’s Black artists and entrepreneurs in the '60s, '70s, and '80s. Ayana sits down with City Cast Chicago host Jacoby Cochran to talk about cultural contributions like Ebony and Jet, Soul Train, and Afro Sheen, and the importance of the stories behind the music and art we love. On January 29, Ayana will be talking about her book and signing copies at the Woodson Regional Library on 95th and Halsted. Find out more and sign up here. Guest: Ayana Contreras, host of Reclaimed Soul and author of “Energy Never Dies: Afro-Optimism and Creativity in Chicago” Some Good News: Comedian Lisa Beasley is hosting a “Teachers’ Appreciation Comedy Show” at 8 p.m. tonight at the Laugh Factory. It’s also virtual. Plus, there are free tickets available for CPS teachers! Music clips in this episode from Frankie Knuckles (”Your Love,” “The Whistle Song”), Glenn Jones (”Oh Girl”), Lost Generation (”The Slick, Sly, and the Wicked”), and The Esquire (“Get on Up”). Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 12, 2022
Lightfoot and CTU, a Conflict Years in the Making
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Chicago Public Schools students will return to classes Wednesday, now that the district and the Chicago Teachers Union have reached a tentative deal. Students went nearly a full week of no instruction while the union and the city clashed over COVID safety protocols. The deal promises increased COVID testing for students and school-based metrics for remote learning, but it fell short of the union's proposal to require opt-out testing for students and a district-wide remote learning metric. The agreement still needs to be approved by union members. The deal didn't keep Mayor Lori Lightfoot or union leaders from continuing to trade harsh words Monday night. And this is just the latest in a long and arduous line of fights between the mayor and CTU. Chicago Sun-Times education reporter Nader Issa explains the three major labor disputes between the Mayor and the union since since Lightfoot took office in 2019. Guest: Nader Issa—Reporter, Chicago Sun-Times  Some Good News: Free days at the Shedd Aquarium. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 11, 2022
How Bobby Rush went from Black Panther to Congressman
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Rep. Bobby Rush has represented Illinois’ 1st District since 1993. His path to Congress was more unconventional than many of his peers’. He was co-founder of the Illinois Black Panther Party, an alderman, and eventually, the only person to ever beat Barack Obama in an election. He’s been an advocate of racial justice, but hasn’t been without controversy in the district. Rush is not running for reelection this year, paving the way for a younger candidate to step in to lead a district that includes not only Chicago’s South Side, but also rural areas like Frankfort and Mokena. Chicago Sun-Times columnist and ABC 7 commentator Laura Washington tells us about Rush’s legacy and what the race for his seat could look like. Guest: Laura Washington — Chicago Sun-Times columnist and ABC 7 political commentator Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 10, 2022
School Chaos, A Political Legend Retires, and Bulls Give Us Hope
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WCIU reporter Brandon Pope and Block Club Chicago’s Jamie Nesbitt Golden break down the week’s news with host Jacoby Cochran, including the chaos Chicago Public Schools families, teachers, and staff experienced with late night class cancellations. Jamie was watching as a journalist and a CPS parent. Plus, what First District Congressman Bobby Rush’s legacy is now that he faces retirement, and how the Bulls are carrying all the hope for Chicago sports fans right now.  Guests: Brandon Pope—WCIU Reporter and Anchor Jamie Nesbitt Golden—Reporter, Block Club Chicago Share your favorite hidden gems of Chicago! Call or text us at: (773) 780-0246 or email us chicago@citycast.fm Topics discussed: CPS–CTU Conflict Rep. Bobby Rush to retire Chicago's Black Fire Brigade Juice WRLD's mom talks about leaked music, new documentary Bulls on Fire T’Challa Recast Effort Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 07, 2022
Dr. Arwady Prepared for a Public Health Crisis, Not for the Political Battles
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Dr. Allison Arwady was confirmed as Commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Public Health just a couple months before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the city. Since then, she’s been all over the place, regularly appearing with the mayor and governor and answering coronavirus questions on Twitter and Facebook. She talks with host Jacoby Cochran about what goes into making public health decisions during a pandemic. She also explains why she thinks it’s safe for CPS students to return to in-person learning, even as omicron surges in Chicago. Guest: Dr. Allison Arwady — Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health Parents, teachers, students: How are you feeling about the return (or not) to in-person learning right now? Text us or leave a voicemail at (773) 780-0246 or email us at chicago@citycast.fm. We may include your response in the podcast or newsletter. Also! Tell your friends about City Cast Chicago! There's swag in it for you. Tweet about us @citycastchicago! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 06, 2022
Feeling Ashamed of Getting COVID? You're Not Alone
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At this point, virtually all of us know someone who has had COVID-19, or we’ve gotten it ourselves. There are a lot of reasons for that — the omicron surge, a return to (somewhat) normal life, uneven vaccination. But many people, especially those who feel like they "did everything right," are often left feeling ashamed and guilty for contracting an infectious disease. The stigma around getting COVID can push people to keep their positive test results to themselves, which can lead to more infections, exacerbating the public health crisis. Clinical psychologist Dr. Sheehan Fisher explains what drives these feelings of shame, and he offers ways to help with the anxiety that comes with this wave of the pandemic. We also hear from one of our City Cast colleagues in Pittsburgh who got COVID over the holidays in 2020. Guests: Sheehan Fisher — Professor, Northwestern University Megan Harris — Senior Producer, City Cast Pittsburgh Some good news: The documentary "Unapologetic" is streaming all this month on PBS. Check out our interviews with filmmaker Ashley O'Shay and with Bella BAHHS, whose activism is showcased in the film. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 04, 2022
Here We Go Again — Should CPS Students Return to Classrooms?
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More than 300,000 public school kids in Chicago are expected back in the classroom today after winter break. Their return comes as the city averages nearly 4,000 COVID cases a day. Before the break, CPS sent testing kits home with about half of the district’s students. But the Chicago Teachers Union and some parents questioned the efficacy of that plan when this image was on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. The union held a virtual town hall Sunday night so members could share their concerns about teaching in person, but CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said last week he’s confident about students returning. Chicago Tribune education reporter Tracy Swartz has the latest on what the next week could look like in the country’s third largest school district.  Guest: Tracy Swartz—Reporter, Chicago Tribune News: New Illinois laws enacted in 2022 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jan 03, 2022
ICYMI: Chicago’s Former Watchdog Looks Back on Corruption He Tried to Stop
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We wrap up our look back on some the team's favorite stories from this year with a conversation about one of Chicago's most persistent issues: corruption. Lead producer Carrie Shepherd loved that former Inspector General Joe Ferguson held nothing back about how he thinks the city can be better. Ferguson led the office for 12 years, through three different mayors, a federal investigation into the Chicago Police Department, and numerous scandals that have revealed racism, sexism, and political patronage, as well as resulting in indictments of sitting alderpeople. He retired in October. Ferguson tells host Jacoby Cochran how his office kept pushing for more transparency and better government (even when it seemed like nothing would change). He also answers the question: Is Chicago really more corrupt than other cities? This segment was originally published on Oct. 26, 2021. Guest: Joe Ferguson — Former Inspector General, City of Chicago See you in 2022! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 30, 2021
ICYMI: 'Black People Outside' Want to Get People Out in Nature
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We're decidedly city people at City Cast Chicago. But sometimes it's great to hang out in nature with people who know it well. That's why newsletter writer Sidney Madden chose this conversation with Chevon Linear and Kameron Stanton as one of her favorites of 2021. Linear and Stanton are behind the popular TikTok @black.people.outside. They make videos about their travels and local excursions to connect with other Black adventurers. The couple guided host Jacoby Cochran on a hike at the Captain Daniel Wright Forest Preserve to talk about why they make their videos and the challenges they've faced in raising the visibility of Black people in the outdoors. Plus, they show how fun it is to be outside. This segment was originally published on May 24, 2021. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 29, 2021
ICYMI: We're Going to the Rodeo...In the City!
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Let's go back to summertime Chi, when the sun was out and it was warm. And there were even horses. This story was a favorite of City Cast producer Simone Alicea. She and host Jacoby Cochran visited the South Shore Cultural center, where every year, the Broken Arrow riding Club hosts a rodeo. Yes, right there, next to a golf course, beach, and landmark event space where the Obamas hosted their wedding reception. The club has been around for more than 30 years with a mission to bring horseback riding and rodeos to people of all ethnic backgrounds and physical abilities in Chicago. As a native Chicagoan, Jacoby had never even heard of the rodeo in his backyard, so he went to talk to the man who started it all. This segment was originally published on July 1, 2021. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 28, 2021
ICYMI: Big Weed Has a Problem. It's Big White.
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All this week, we're replaying some of the team's favorite stories from 2021. Host Jacoby Cochran picked this story about Illinois' nascent cannabis industry. When state lawmakers legalized weed in 2019, they promised licenses and revenues would go to Black and brown communities hit hardest by the war on drugs. But cannabis remains dominated by white growers and sellers. And confusion remains, despite new legislation and additional rounds of dispensary license lotteries this summer. Chicago Sun-Times reporter Tom Schuba covers the marijuana industry. He explains the state of Illinois' cannabis social equity program. Jacoby also talks to a social equity applicant who was awarded licenses for cultivation and infusion. This segment was originally published on Sept. 9, 2021. Guests: Tom Schuba — Reporter, Chicago Sun-Times Willie "JR" Fleming — Founder, Hemp for Hoods Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 27, 2021
Eat, Shop, and Give in Our Neighborhoods
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On City Cast Chicago, we often focus our stories around neighborhoods. That’s partly because of the old Chicago adage that we’re a "city of neighborhoods.” But it’s also because when you say the name of a neighborhood in our city, it conjures up images of the area: the racial makeup of it, how affluent it is, if disinvestment has plagued it, if it has single-family homes with yards, or is dense with three-flats or high rises. The City Cast team is taking you through each of OUR neighborhoods with some recommendations on where to eat, where to shop, and where you can donate time or money.  Uptown: Demera, Qideas, Chinese Mutual Aid Association Lakeview: D’Agostino’s, Bonus Round Cafe, Center on Halsted Ukrainian Village/Humboldt Park: Jeff & Judes, Komoda, CAWC Hyde Park/South Shore: Majani, The Silver Room, Brave Space Alliance Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 23, 2021
Here are Lightfoot's End-of-Year Promises on Biggest Problems
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While many of us are just trying to get through the rest of 2021, Mayor Lori Lightfoot spent the week before the holiday making promises to combat the two most pressing issues facing Chicago: The omicron surge and violent crime. On Monday, she gave a 40-minute speech outlining her public safety plans, spanning everything from suing gangs, cracking down on electronic monitoring, and bringing in more federal help. The next day, the mayor announced the city will require people 5 and older to provide proof of vaccination to dine indoors, work out in gyms, and visit other indoor entertainment venues, starting in the new year. Block Club Chicago’s Kelly Bauer has been following these announcements, and she joins us to break them down. Guest: Kelly Bauer—Breaking news editor, Block Club Chicago Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 22, 2021
Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Let’s Enjoy It
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The City Cast Chicago team are all very vocal cold weather haters. And while we have been spared so far this year from the bone-chilling temps, wind that pierces our souls, and ice that turns our sidewalks into skating rinks, it's sure to come soon. We’ve learned there are people who don’t just tolerate the cold, but LIKE it. Producer Simone Alicea takes a stroll with one of these cold weather lovers. Guests: Erin Vickers — City Cast listener Brian Leatherwood — Meteorologist, National Weather Service Chicago Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 21, 2021
The Enduring Appeal of Bozo the Clown
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For more than 40 years, “Bozo’s Circus” was a daily, and later, weekly presence on the televisions of kids and their parents. And in Chicago, we really claimed Bozo, Cookie and his friends as our own because the show taped at WGN studios. But, Bozo didn’t originate here, and other cities even had their OWN Bozos. But, ours was the best. The show has been off the air since 2001, but actor—and native Evanstonian—David Arquette recently purchased the rights to Bozo, and says he wants to bring the clown that brought him so much joy back to Chicago. We talk about the history of Bozo the Clown, and hear what made it so special.  Guest: Mike Toomey—WGN TV announcer and Bozo fan  **Karaoke Storytellers on Sunday was POSTPONED. We'll keep you posted on the new date.** Links: David Arquette talks to WGN about buying rights to Bozo Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 20, 2021
Cook Co. Dem Picks, Nightlife at Neo, and Your Go-To Karaoke Jam
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Injustice Watch senior reporter Maya Dukmasova and Chicago Reader culture editor Salem Collo-Julin join host Jacoby Cochran to look back on a few stories from the week, including one judge’s obsession with an alcohol monitoring bracelet called SCRAM, the ongoing fallout after tornadoes tore across the Midwest over the weekend, and, oh, did anyone check out the Cook County Democrats’ endorsements? No, not the big ones, but the down-ballot races. Plus, learn the team’s go-to Karaoke Songs!   Guests: Maya Dukmasova—Sr. Reporter, Injustice Watch Salem Collo-Julin—Culture Editor, Chicago Reader Don't Forget! This Sunday at 7 p.m., City Cast Chicago will be at Schuba's Tavern for Karaoke Storytellers, hosted by Jacoby Cochran. Get your tickets! Vax required! Stories discussed: Cook County Judge Vazquez’s heavy use of sobriety monitor highlights oversight gaps Tornadoes ripped the roof off American capitalism  Democrats endorsed for Cook County judge are diverse, experienced — and loyal Neo: Where Misfits Fit in One Degree Hotter: How Megan Thee Stallion Made Good on Her Promise to Graduate College Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 17, 2021
Meet Transgender Icon Mama Gloria
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In the early 1960s, Gloria Allen, aka Mama Gloria, was ridiculed by teachers and fellow students at Englewood High School for being a “sissy.” Allen says no one knew back then what being transgender meant. But she always knew she was a girl, and with the support of her mother, grandmother, and some neighbors, Allen was able to embrace who she really was. Living that authentic life is what helped her when she experienced traumatic sexual violence. “Mama Gloria,” streaming now on PBS, is a documentary of Allen’s life in Chicago, including attending “Sissy Balls” in the 1960s and starting a charm school for young people. Allen talks to host Jacoby Cochran about the continued fight for transgender rights. **Warning: This episode includes descriptions of sexual violence** Some good news: Matt Muse and Jamila Woods are hosting a benefit concert Friday at The Metro for his “Love and Nappyness” hair care drive. Here’s where to drop off hygiene products. And there’s still time to sign up for our newsletter for a chance to win two tickets to Karaoke Storytellers at Schuba’s Tavern on Sunday! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 16, 2021
Finding Therapy at Your Local Karaoke Bar
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Music is known as a therapeutic tool, but usually that conjures up thoughts of soothing sounds, learning to play an instrument, or writing song lyrics as a form of expression. But for many people, it also includes popping into a local karaoke bar, signing up for the song you want to sing, making friends with regulars who also sing, feeling vulnerable, finding community, and building routine. This culture was the inspiration for Karaoke Storytellers, an event where performers tell a story, then sing a song connected to that story. We talk with David Johnson, a military veteran who used karaoke as a way to build connection and purpose after his final tour of duty. Johnson, who’s performed with Karaoke Storytellers in the past, explains how karaoke helped him share his story. Sign up for our newsletter for a chance to win two tickets to Karaoke Storytellers at Schuba’s Tavern on Sunday, hosted by Jacoby Cochran.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 15, 2021
Finding Community at C2E2 in a Covid World
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Each year, tens of thousands of super fans, aka cosplayers, head to McCormick Place Convention Center to celebrate their shared love of Star Wars, Marvel Comics, and all sorts of characters that dominate spheres of pop culture. Since the pandemic shut down gatherings and conventions, participating in those communities has been limited to online, and has left past attendees feeling lonely and isolated. Last weekend, with limited capacity and vaccination required, CE2E was held in person at McCormick Place. City Cast Chicago’s Jacoby Cochran and Simone Alicea headed to C2E2 to talk to attendees about what returning in person meant for their sense of community, and how safe they felt.    Sign up for our newsletter for a chance to win 2 tickets to Karaoke Storytellers at Schuba's Tavern on Sunday, hosted by Jacoby Cochran. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 14, 2021
What’s In A (Chicago) Nickname? Historian Dilla Tells Us
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The Second City. Windy City. The City of Big Shoulders. Chicago is known by many names. “We matter so much to the country, people always talking about us,” says Shermann “Dilla” Thomas, aka The TikTok Historian. Dilla talks about the history of some of these nicknames with host Jacoby Cochran, and they discuss what these monikers say about the city. Plus, Dilla just can’t help but drop a few other Chicago history facts. Nominate City Cast Chicago as “Best Podcast” and “Best Newsletter” in Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago 2021! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 13, 2021
Guess We Should Talk About Jussie Smollett
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Jussie Smollett was found guilty Thursday evening of falsely reporting to police that he was a victim of a hate crime in January 2019. It’s been nearly three years of conflicting stories and political rancor leading up to the jury’s decision, after the former “Empire” actor said he was attacked outside his Streeterville apartment, and police later accused Smollett of staging the crime. The City Cast team looks back on what morphed into a convoluted and public debate over whether it was all a hoax. Jacoby Cochran, Carrie Shepherd, and Simone Alicea relive the twists and turns of the case while trying understand why (or if) we should care about it. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 10, 2021
How Catholics Showed Up During AIDS Crisis
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Journalist Michael J. O'Loughlin is gay and Catholic, and his latest book explores the intersection of those two worlds. “Hidden Mercy: AIDS, Catholics, and the Untold Stories of Compassion in the Face of Fear” profiles church members who were behind scenes caring for people with HIV and AIDS, even as the institutional church denounced these individuals. Some of these nuns and priests were the only ones caring for patients who were abandoned by family and friends. City Cast Chicago’s Simone Alicea talks to O’Loughlin about how his personal faith journey brought him to this story.  Guest: Michael O’Loughlin — National Correspondent, America Magazine O’Loughlin is speaking about the book on Dec. 10 at the Catholic Theological Union. You can attend virtually or in person. Illinois’ weed tax windfall tops $560 million. Here’s where the money goes and more stories in our newsletter. Some good news: Wrigleyville Wonderland! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 09, 2021
City Cast and 77 Flavors Reunite at Mikkey's Grill in Avalon Park
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For their podcast “77 Flavors of Chicago,” Dario Durham and Sara Faddah seek to visit each of Chicago’s 77 community areas to taste some of the best food the city has to offer. Host Jacoby Cochran recently joined the couple at Mikkey’s Retro Grill in Avalon Park. The trio throw down on some burgers, jerk fries, and even vegan options, while talking about the changing South Side. Follow Sara and Dario on Instagram. Plus, go back and listen to Jacoby’s interview with the couple and his last outing with them in Hermosa. Some good news: Meet the City Cast team during Karaoke Storytellers at Schuba’s Tavern on Dec. 19, featuring Lisa Beasley and Joanne Molinaro, aka the Korean Vegan. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 08, 2021
Austin Residents Say Cops Don't Come When They Call and New Data Could Prove That
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Generations of residents in West Side neighborhoods like Austin have complained that police don’t come when they call 911. The Central Austin Neighborhood Association even sued the city over the problem in 2011. A decade later, a settlement has been finalized. It includes a requirement that Chicago Police track response times in each of the department’s 22 districts and make the data public. Block Club Chicago’s Pascal Sabino explains neighborhood advocates believe the data will confirm years of anecdotes, and they hope to use it to spur change.  Guest: Pascal Sabino — Reporter, Block Club Chicago A little bit of news, y’all: City Council is set to vote on sports betting at Chicago’s stadium’s. Go back and listen to our episode about the city’s growing gambling scene. And some good news: Help light up 575 trees along Douglas Boulevard in North Lawndale.  Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 07, 2021
Who Gets In and Who Gets Left Out of Selective Enrollment Schools?
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Right now, thousands of Chicago Public School kids and their families are stressing about where they’re going to high school. That’s because Dec. 15 is the deadline to apply to the district’s selective enrollment schools. There are 11 selective enrollment public high schools in Chicago, some of which are included in lists for the best schools in the country — schools like Whitney Young, Walter Payton, and Gwendolyn Brooks. WBEZ education reporter Sarah Karp walks us through the history of why these schools exist, inequities in enrollment, and the process to get in. Plus, City Cast Chicago newsletter writer Sidney Madden shares her experience of applying to Whitney Young High School ten years ago. Guests: Sarah Karp—Education reporter, WBEZ  Sidney Madden—Newsletter writer, City Cast Chicago Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 06, 2021
Holiday Cheer, Red Stars Scandal, and Who’s Watching the Smollett Trial?
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Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is charged with lying about being attacked nearly three years ago outside his Streeterville apartment. The alleged-hate-crime-turned-alleged-hoax was a big deal when it happened, but City Cast’s Simone Alicea and Carrie Shepherd are a little exhausted by the story. They share their fatigue with Chicago Tribune’s Stephanie Casanova, who tells us about a fight over tenant rights in Avalon Park and a heartwarming message from Bronzeville’s “Taco Lady.” They also discuss omicron, booster shots, the resignation of Red Stars coach Rory Dames, and the holiday experiences they’re looking forward to. Guests: Stephanie Casanova—Reporter, Chicago Tribune Carrie Shepherd—Lead Producer, City Cast Chicago Stories We Talked About: ‘Nobody cares’: NWSL players say U.S. Soccer failed to act on abuse claims against Red Stars coach A SWAT situation, a fire, no water and heat. And then a building is condemned, and residents are forced from their home days before Thanksgiving. About 15% of Illinois residents have gotten COVID-19 booster shot, as Omicron enters U.S. and Illinois faces surge Good News: She has sold tacos in Bronzeville for 40 years. Her customers keep coming back, say her food is ‘made with love.’ First-Ever ‘Golden Girls’ Festival Slated For North Halsted in Lakeview in April Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 03, 2021
So...How About That Transparency Promised in Ward Remapping?
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We’ve been covering Chicago’s ward remap at City Cast Chicago, but here’s a reminder: The remap process takes place every decade after the census, and it’s meant to reflect changing demographics of the city. Each time, transparency and public input are promised. Then alderpersons gather behind closed doors and negotiate with each other about which boundaries would serve each of them and allow them to be reelected. Dec. 1 — Wednesday — was the deadline for approving a new map. But in the days leading up to it, City Council meetings were canceled, the mayor left town, and the public still hadn’t seen an official map. Without a map approved by at least 41 alderpersons, there’s now a chance voters could have final say on Chicago’s ward boundaries. But politics reporter A.D. Quig explains it’s just a chance and there’s still a lot more negotiating and dealing to come. Guest: A.D. Quig — Politics reporter, Crain’s Chicago Business Listen to our past coverage of the census and ward remap: The push for an Asian American–majority ward An alternative, independent mapping process How shifting demographics shift political power Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 02, 2021
Does Today's Sex Ed Serve All Young People?
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Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker in August signed into law legislation requiring sex education in K-12 schools to teach about HIV, consent, and the role of technology in sexual health. Pritzker and backers of the bill said it modernizes sex education, but schools and parents can still opt out of the curriculum. On this World AIDS Day, Lead Producer Carrie Shepherd talks to a clinical psychologist from Northwestern University whose expertise includes HIV prevention and sexual and gender minority populations. They discuss what young people today understand about HIV and where there still needs to be more awareness.  Guest: Kathryn Macapagal — Professor, Northwestern University Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dec 01, 2021
David Plotz Asks His Burning Chicago Questions
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David Plotz, CEO of City Cast and co-host of Slate's "Political Gabfest," is a lifelong Washingtonian who knows the ins and outs of THAT city. But now, in his current role at City Cast, he has to learn about about a slew of new cities that are part of the company's network: Denver, Houston, and, of course, Chicago. So, naturally, he has questions. David asks host Jacoby Cochran and Lead Producer Carrie Shepherd about the “L,” Oprah and Kanye, and, yes, pizza.  Guest: David Plotz A little bit of news, y'all: Giving Tuesday Organizations List: Block Club Chicago, Crain's Chicago Business Chicago Elite Classic 12/3-12/4 Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 30, 2021
Why Are Black Chicagoans Leaving?
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Chicago's Black population is the lowest it's been since the 1950s. What was once a destination for Black Southerners seeking more opportunity and racial equity is now a city they're fleeing to move to nearby states, like Indiana, but also farther away like Texas, Georgia and Arizona. Chicago Tribune's Will Lee talked to former Chicagoans. Lee explains why they say they’re leaving, and as life-long Chicagoans, he and host Jacoby Cochran talk about their own personal struggles on whether to stay or go.  Guest: William Lee — Reporter, Chicago Tribune Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 29, 2021
ICYMI: Dion's Chicago Dream
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As many of us enjoy delicious food over the Thanksgiving holiday, we wanted to take a moment to look back on a story about a Chicagoan working to feed his neighbors. Dion Dawson was asked in 2020 what he wanted to do to help his Englewood community. He responded that he wanted to feed 100 families. Fast forward a year, and Dion's Chicago Dream is running a community fridge that the organization keeps full of fresh produce, and delivering groceries to families from Maywood to Evanston. Dion tells host Jacoby Cochran it was his own food insecurity growing up that made him want to help feed his neighbors and give back to the neighborhood he loves. Get involved with Dion's Chicago Dream. **This story was originally published Aug. 9, 2021** Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 24, 2021
Mural Celebrating Women’s Suffrage Blocked for Being ‘Too Political’
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Last year, the Wabash Arts Corridor commissioned two murals in the South Loop to celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage. While one mural has been installed, the other has been blocked by a nearby parking lot owner who said it was “too political.” Lead producer Carrie Shepherd visited the site at Wabash and Harrison and has been looking into what happened. She explains what happened and how it fits into Chicago’s larger conversation about the purpose of public monuments and public art. We also hear from the artist behind the blocked mural. Guests: Carrie Shepherd — Lead Producer, City Cast Chicago Dorian Sylvain — Artist Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 22, 2021
Help Your Neighbors, The Ward Remap is Coming, and That's a Big-Ass Fish!
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A group of South Shore neighbors pooled their money to buy and restore a historic vacant apartment building in their neighborhood. Mayor Lori Lightfoot remains on the fence as alders continue to spar over the city’s next ward map. And one Chicagoan may have caught the biggest carp in Illinois at the Humboldt Park lagoon, leaving the rest of us wondering, “Where the hell did this 72-pound behemoth come from?” Block Club Chicago’s Maxwell Evans and Crain’s Chicago Business’ A.D. Quig stop by to talk about these stories and more. Plus, Thanksgiving is next week so we’re talking favorite side dishes and the City Cast Chicago team says what they’re thankful for this year! Guests: Maxwell Evans — Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and South Shore reporter, Block Club Chicago A.D. Quig — Politics and government reporter, Crain's Chicago Business Stories discussed: South Shore neighbors restore a historic vacant apartment building Southeast Sider helps a couple from Indiana stranded in Chicago Why you should care about the Cook County Assessor’s race Man catches gigantic carp in Humboldt Park lagoon Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 19, 2021
‘Passing’ Story Has Deep Chicago Roots
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The film “Passing,” now streaming on Netflix, is based on Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel of the same name. Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry are two light-skinned Black women who grew up on Chicago’s South Side—just like Larsen. One of the women is “passing” as white while the other is heavily involved with the Harlem community where she now lives. Writer and Larsen scholar Amina Gautier explains how Chicago played an integral role in the author’s life and in the story.  Guest: Amina Gautier—Writer and University of Miami Professor A little bit of news, y'all: Comment as Chicago Police develop a new gang database, after the old one was found to be riddled with errors and proven to be racially biased Find a park with ice skating near you Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 18, 2021
Restaurant Workers Demand End of Subminimum Wage
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The Illinois Restaurant Association says even as establishments continue to reopen since the start of the pandemic, 100,000 restaurants have closed nationwide, and the industry is still down 70,000 jobs in Illinois. Worker advocates say one way to fix that shortage is to get rid of the subminimum wage. That’s the minimum hourly rate employers have to pay tipped workers like waiters and bartenders because the law assumes the combination of the lower wage and tips will equal the full minimum wage. One of those advocates is Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage. Jayaraman was in Chicago this week visiting restaurants that have abandoned the subminimum wage—at least for now. She talks to host Jacoby Cochran about the campaign. And we hear from a worker who left the industry and says she’s not going back. Guests: Saru Jayaraman — President, One Fair Wage Jewel Simmons — Former Chicago restaurant worker Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 17, 2021
Parents and Kids Are Ready for a Vaxxed Holiday
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When the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for kids between the ages of 5 and 11 a little more than two weeks ago, parents quickly tried to secure spots to get their kids vaxxed. Even before the approval, Chicago Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady assured parents and guardians that getting the vaccine “was not going to be the Hunger Games,” the way it often felt when the vaccine was approved for adults. A health care reporter details the early days of the pediatric vaccine roll-out, and we talk to a family in suburban Palos Park about how they’re feeling now that two teens are fully vaxxed and two kids are partly vaxxed.  Guests: Lisa Schencker—Health care business reporter, Chicago Tribune The Narciso Family Where to find the vaccine Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 16, 2021
It’s Not Just the Blackhawks. Hockey Has a Toxicity Problem
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The Chicago Blackhawks are trying to regain the trust of fans after it was revealed last month that the team didn’t respond appropriately to a player’s allegations of sexual assault. Two hockey fans say this case represents a toxic culture that the sport must confront. Former Chicago Sun-Times reporter Evan Moore and sports reporter Jashvina Shah have been looking at toxic behavior in hockey for years because they love the sport and want it to change. Their new book “Game Misconduct: Hockey's Toxic Culture and How to Fix It” is out now. Moore and Shah tell host Jacoby Cochran what they think contributes to the toxicity. Guests: Evan Moore—Co-author, “Game Misconduct: Hockey's Toxic Culture and How to Fix It” Jashvina Shah—Co-author, “Game Misconduct: Hockey's Toxic Culture and How to Fix It” Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 15, 2021
Bonus Episode: Why LGBTQ Events Spaces Are Needed
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When Kristen Kaza and Elijah McKinnon opened the events space Reunion in 2016 in Humboldt Park their mission was to create "a haven for Queer and minority creatives." Kaza and McKinnon have hosted comedy nights, dance parties, art exhibits, and other events that celebrate the LQBTQ+ and BIPOC communities. They announced in October they are closing Reunion. Kaza and McKinnon talk to host Jacoby Cochran about the importance of spaces that cultivate community, and allow patrons to feel like they belong. Events from Nov. 11-Nov. 19: “The Sweetest Gift: A Farewell To Reunion Chicago”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 13, 2021
McDonald's CEO Under Fire, CPS' Last Minute Vax Day, and We're Not Feeling the First Snow!
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Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez announced last week that students would not have classes Friday for “Vaccination Awareness Day,” but some parents were caught off guard and wondered how they were going to use a work day to get their kids vaxxed. Kyle Rittenhouse took the stand in his trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He faces seven charges, including first-degree reckless homicide and first-degree intentional homicide for his killings of two men during protests in Kenosha last year. And activists and McDonald’s employees are calling on CEO Chris Kempczinski to be fired for what they say is racist behavior by the executive. City Cast Chicago’s Carrie Shepherd, Simone Alicea, and Jacoby Cochran break down those stories. Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 12, 2021
Why Veterans Need More Than Veterans Day
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The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs told state lawmakers this week they need more staff and better access to housing and healthcare. The numbers back up the critical need to take care of veterans. The rate of suicides among veterans is nearly double that of the civilian population, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. But Northwestern University professor Michelle Shumate says mental health treatment and suicide hotlines aren’t enough to help veterans as they transition to civilian life. Shumate has been researching how organizations that help with housing, food, and jobs can contribute to better mental health for veterans. She shares what she hears from veterans about what they need. Guest: Michelle Shumate —Delaney Family University Research Professor, Northwestern University Chicago Veterans Day Events: The city is hosting a ceremony at Soldier Field at 11 a.m. Auditorium Theatre is hosting tours for veterans and their families from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Vax Info for CPS Families: CPS City Cast Chicago newsletter Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 11, 2021
Here's What We Know A Week into the Rittenhouse Trial
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The prosecution rested Tuesday in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. The Antioch resident was 17 when he shot and killed two men and injured another last year in Kenosha, Wisconsin, amid demonstrations following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Chicago Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair is in Kenosha following the trial. She lays out what’s happened during this first week, what the defense is expected to present, and why Chicago is watching closely. Guest: Stacy St. Clair — Reporter, Chicago Tribune Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 10, 2021
Why Does Chicago Suddenly Feel Like Vegas?
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More than $5 billion was wagered on sports in Illinois in the last year, after the state legalized sports betting. And Chicago’s big sports franchises — Bulls, Bears, Cubs, Sox, and Sky— want to get in on the action. They’re pushing a city ordinance that would allow sports betting at stadiums. While alders with arenas in their wards are on board, they’re facing pushback from gaming moguls looking to develop Chicago’s new casino. The Daily Line Chicago’s Alex Nitkin has been following the developments, including Monday’s hearing about the sports betting ordinance, and he has the latest. Guest: Alex Nitkin—Editor and city hall reporter, The Daily Line Chicago Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 09, 2021
What Time Is It? Daylight Saving time Explained
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While most of us had to adjust to getting an extra hour of sleep Sunday (and an earlier sunset), lawmakers across the country, including in Illinois, are imagining a future where we don’t adjust clocks at all. There are bills in Springfield that propose moving the state to daylight saving time year-round — a move that’s been embraced by 19 other states in the last four years — while others would prefer to stay in standard time all year. But where does daylight saving time come from? And what’s driving the debate? City Cast Chicago’s Simone Alicea breaks it down. Jacoby's Good News: Photography Week at Columbia College Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 08, 2021
Kim Foxx Gets Real, Toxic Radio Industry and Bulls Keep Bringing It
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It’s the first Friday of November and we have two huge Bulls fans with us to look back on a few stories from across Chicago. The Triibe’s Tonia Hill and WBEZ reporter Susie An join us to discuss the media’s coverage of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, the growing number of women in Chicago radio speaking out against a toxic workplace culture, and we ask, “Why so much shade Scottie?” Also, we’re still talking about school lunches! Guests: Suzie An—Reporter, WBEZ Tonia Hill—Producer, The Triibe What is/was your favorite and least favorite cafeteria item? Let us know at chicago@citycast.fm or hit us on twitter! Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 05, 2021
Why Did A Meatless Meal at CPS Taste Like Meat?
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In mid-October, longtime health and food reporter Monica Eng was peeking at Chicago Public Schools’ lunch menus. Yes, for fun. Monica was pleasantly surprised to learn that CPS had launched “Plant Forward Thursdays,” the district’s take on meatless options available to about 300,000 students, many of whom rely on schools for daily meals. Of course Monica wanted to know what the “lentil Joe sandwich” tasted like. But she hit a roadblock. We talk to Monica about CPS’ rollout of meatless meals and about her decades-long quest to make school lunches healthier.  Guest: Monica Eng — Reporter, Axios Chicago Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 04, 2021
Are These Bulls For Real?
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The Chicago Bulls are 6-1 for the first time since 2012 and sit at the top of the Eastern Conference. Obviously, the NBA season is barely two weeks old, but the Bulls look like a different team on the court than in previous years. Powered by DeMar DeRozan’s shooting and Zach LaVine’s scoring, the team has beat a dangerous Utah Jazz team, and had a 19-point comeback Monday in a win against the Celtics in Boston. On the defensive end, the team looks energized. Laurence Holmes is host of the podcast “House of L” and joins us to put this early start in perspective. We discuss the Bull’s offseason moves, this 6-1 start, and we ask what is the ceiling for this team? Guest:  Laurence Holmes—Host, 670 TheScore and “House of L” podcast Jacoby's Good News: Hot Chocolate 5k and 15k Race Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 03, 2021
What is CPS Doing About its Bus Shortage?
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As Chicago Public Schools students enter their third month in the school year, nearly 4,000 of them are without reliable transportation to and from school. More than half of those students are diverse learners with special needs. The district’s transportation problem stems from a bus driver shortage happening in Chicago and across the country. Late last week, the Chicago Board of Education gave an update on who is still waiting for a reliable transportation plan from CPS and what alternatives the district has proposed. Chalkbeat reporter Mauricio Peña breaks down those plans and tells us what he’s hearing from parents. And we talk to Chicago tech entrepreneur Ismael El-Amin about his start-up called Piggyback, which connects parents whose kids need a ride with parents who can offer one.  Guests: Mauricio Peña—Reporter, Chalkbeat Ismael El-Amin—Founder, Piggyback Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 02, 2021
The Fight to Save Mercy Hospital
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Mercy Hospital in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood is a safety net hospital, which means it takes any patient, regardless of income or insurance. But it’s been so much more than that. It's an institution on the South Side, where Chinese and Spanish speaking residents could talk to staff in their native language, and expectant mothers could deliver their babies close to home. So when the hospital declared bankruptcy in February, staff, patients, and neighbors were sad, scared, and worried about what would happen to Mercy. Those worries didn’t go away when the hospital was sold to a Michigan nonprofit. For the last year, WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch has been following the hospital’s financial decline and its hopeful resurrection. She explains why places like Mercy are essential and what the future holds for it.  Guests: Kristen Schorsch—Reporter, WBEZ Etta Davis—Mercy Hospital patient and member of Chicago Health Equity Coalition Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nov 01, 2021
Blackhawks’ Failure, Springfield Roundup, and Go Bulls!
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It’s Friday, and just like that, Spooky Season is almost over. “Nerdette” host Greta Johnsen and WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky join Jacoby Cochran to look back on the week and say goodbye to October. A few stories on our minds: The Chicago Blackhawks released the results of an independent investigation into allegations of sexual abuse against a former coach, state Dems dropped a new congressional map, and is Chicago turning a COVID corner? Our trio considers that question, and they share a couple of moments of joy from the week. Guests: Amanda Vinicky—Reporter, WTTW Greta Johnsen—Host, Nerdette, WBEZ     Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 29, 2021
Will Chicago Get Its First Asian American–Majority Ward?
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The city’s Asian American population has grown 31% over the last decade, the largest of any racial group in Chicago, according to Census numbers. Chinatown, home to the city’s largest Asian American population, however is spread across three different wards, none of which have an Asian American alder person. In fact, there isn’t an Asian American on City Council, which can make the community feel left out while alder people are drawing up a ward map behind closed doors that will help each of them get re-elected. Asian American–led organizations that serve the community say it’s time they have a voice on City Council. Grace Chan McKibben, executive director at the Coalition for Better Chinese American Community, explains the reasons why a majority Asian American ward is so important.  Guest — Grace Chan McKibben, Executive Director at the Coalition for Better Chinese American Community Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 28, 2021
Do Chicagoans Want to be Police Officers?
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The Chicago Police Department says it needs to fill 1,000 vacancies on the force. Part of their strategy is a new team focused on recruitment, and the city budget expected to pass Wednesday includes about $230,000 for advertising. That’s up from $2,400. So why are cops leaving the force? And is it as dire as some city officials would have the public believe? WBEZ criminal justice reporter Patrick Smith breaks it down. Guest: Patrick Smith— Criminal Justice Reporter, WBEZ Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 27, 2021
Is Chicago More Corrupt Than Other Cities?
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The Inspector General’s office has a broad mandate. Their job is to “promote economy, effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity by identifying corruption, waste, and mismanagement in city government.” Basically, that means trying to clean up bad behavior in a city that is known for political corruption. Joe Ferguson led that office for 12 years, through three different mayors, a federal investigation of Chicago’s Police Department, and numerous scandals that have revealed racism, sexism, political patronage, and resulted in indictments of sitting alder people. He retired this month. Ferguson tells us how he kept pushing for more transparency and better government (even when it seemed like nothing would change), and answers the question: Is Chicago really more corrupt than other cities? Guest: Joe Ferguson — Former Inspector General, City of Chicago Related Links: OIG Public Information Portal Related News Links: Chicago Creative Worker Assistance Program Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 26, 2021
Where Are Chicago’s Public Restrooms?
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Many people rely on public restrooms during the day, including delivery and ride-share drivers, cabbies, and people who are unhoused. Last year during the height of the pandemic, access to public restrooms decreased as businesses and many public buildings like libraries and park field houses closed. That got Chicago Tribune investigative reporter Emily Hoerner wondering how many public restrooms are in Chicago and who’s most affected when they can’t access those spots. We talk to Hoerner about her investigation. Guest: Emily Hoerner — Investigative Reporter, Chicago Tribune Here’s the Tribune’s map of public restrooms.   Follow us on Twitter: @CityCastChicago Sign up for our newsletter: chicago.citycast.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 25, 2021
City v. FOP, Parole Reform, and Sky Parade!
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police have competing lawsuits over the vaccine mandate for city employees. Despite a judge ordering union President John Catanzara to stop encouraging officers on social media not to report their vaccine status, the back-and-forth continued this week as 21 Chicago police officers were placed on no-pay