The Chicago Journal

Record Number of Asylum Seeker Buses Flood Chicago Streets

A Remarkable Arrival

Seven more buses carrying asylum seekers have recently rolled into the vibrant city of Chicago, creating a buzz in the midst of the urban hustle and bustle. This significant influx ties the record for the highest number of arrivals in a single day, marking a noteworthy milestone in the city’s ongoing experience with migration.

A City on Alert

The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) played a pivotal role in confirming the arrival of these buses, with some reaching their destination in the early hours of Tuesday morning and the remainder expected later in the day. This remarkable turnout represents the most buses Chicago has seen in a single day since last August, when the first wave of asylum seekers from Texas started arriving.

A Day of Continuous Arrivals

Throughout the day, charter buses filled with migrants continued to pour into the Chicago Greyhound Bus Station, located at 630 W. Harrison St. Anticipating the unpredictability of arrivals, the city had even prepared school buses on standby, ready to greet new arrivals as they disembarked.

An Almost Eighth Bus

While seven buses successfully made their way to Chicago, an eighth bus, initially expected, experienced delays and was unable to arrive on Tuesday. Had it made it to the city, it would have broken the record for the most buses in a single day since the surge of migrants began last summer.

Tying the Recent Record

With seven buses making their way into the city, Chicago once again ties the record for the highest number of arrivals in one day, a record that was only set on the previous Sunday.

A Growing Trend

Chicago’s journey with migrants from Texas continues, as over the weekend, two buses arrived from El Paso for the first time since last December. This has brought the total number of buses from El Paso to 71, highlighting the city’s role as a hub for migrants since August.

An Escalating Influx

The rate of arrivals in the city has shown a significant increase since May. From August 31, 2022, to the present, a total of 281 buses filled with migrants have arrived in Chicago, with 172 of those arriving since May 12. Remarkably, 60 of these buses have arrived in the city in this month alone.

The Challenge of Shelter

As of Tuesday, nearly 9,000 migrants are still residing in 21 temporary shelters established by the city, with an additional 2,052 awaiting placement in Chicago police stations or at O’Hare and Midway airports. These numbers highlight the ongoing challenge of accommodating and supporting asylum seekers.

Volunteers at the Frontlines

Volunteer groups working tirelessly to aid asylum seekers are feeling the strain of the continuous flow of migrants. Resources are running low, and the demand for assistance remains high, creating a constant struggle to keep up with the growing needs of this population.

Looking to the Future

As the city grapples with the migrant crisis, concerns about the approaching winter season are emerging. The city of Chicago is actively exploring solutions, including Mayor Brandon Johnson’s plan to establish migrant base camps across the city. A $29 million contract with a private security firm has been signed, though specific camp locations and commencement dates have yet to be announced.

A Call for Public Input

In the midst of these developments, Aldermen Anthony Napolitano (41st) and Anthony Beale (9th) are proposing a referendum to be added to the March 2024 primary ballots in Chicago. This referendum would allow voters to decide whether the city should continue to maintain its sanctuary city designation, a move that has generated significant political debate.

National Implications

On a broader scale, the Biden administration has announced a new policy granting temporary protected status to Venezuelans who arrived before July 31. This policy is expected to provide a legal pathway to employment for these individuals, potentially alleviating some of the pressure on cities like Chicago.

UAW Strike Expands as Chicago Area GM and Stellantis Plants Join the Fray

In a significant turn of events, the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against the Big Three automakers has expanded to include employees at two GM and Stellantis plants in the Chicago area. This development comes as a response to the lack of progress in contract talks and raises questions about the future of negotiations. Let’s delve into the details of this expanding strike.

The UAW’s Warning:

UAW officials had issued a warning earlier in the week, suggesting that the strike could escalate if substantial progress wasn’t made in contract negotiations. This warning has now materialized as thousands more workers join the strike.

Initial Limited Scope:

Until this Friday, the strike had been relatively contained, affecting approximately 13,000 workers across three factories—GM, Ford, and Stellantis. Workers had walked out of a GM plant in Wentzville, Missouri; a Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan; and a Stellantis factory in Toledo, Ohio, responsible for Jeep production.

UAW President’s Assessment:

In a video statement released on Friday morning, UAW President Shawn Fain acknowledged progress in contract talks with Ford but highlighted the resistance from GM and Stellantis. Ford was recognized for its commitment to reaching a deal, while the situation with the other two automakers appeared less optimistic.

Expanding the Strike:

The UAW has now called for the inclusion of all 38 GM and Stellantis parts and distribution centers across the nation in the strike, including a GM plant in Bolingbrook and a Stellantis plant in Naperville. Each of these plants has around 100 union workers.

Impact on Car Parts:

As the strike expands, it raises concerns about the availability of car parts. Typically, dealers keep 30 to 45 days of parts in stock. If the strike continues for an extended period, there could be shortages, affecting vehicle repairs.

Brands Affected:

It’s essential to note that GM encompasses brands like Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC, while Stellantis includes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and a range of other brands. The strike’s expansion could have broad implications across these brands.

Company Responses:

Both GM and Stellantis have expressed their dissatisfaction with the strike’s expansion. They argue that the UAW’s actions may not be in the best interest of their employees or the competitive automotive market.

Union Demands:

The strike revolves around core union demands, including a 36% pay increase over a four-year contract, cost-of-living adjustments, pension benefits for all employees, job security, and a four-day work week. The negotiation gap appears significant.

Industry Challenges:

Automakers face the challenge of maintaining low costs while competing with emerging players like Tesla and foreign car manufacturers. They also need to invest in the growing electric vehicle market.

Government Support:

President Biden has expressed support for the striking autoworkers’ demand for a larger share of industry profits. This adds a layer of complexity to the situation.

The Threat of Escalation:

One crucial aspect of the UAW’s strategy is the threat of escalating the strike if negotiations don’t progress as desired. The union is willing to go to great lengths to achieve its objectives.

Additional Union Demands:

Apart from the wage and job-related demands, the union is seeking limited use of temporary workers, more paid time off, and stronger job protections.

Union’s Perspective:

The union argues that, despite hefty profits during the pandemic, workers have not reaped the same benefits as the Big Three automakers.

Economic Impact:

Experts predict that the economic repercussions of this strike could extend beyond the auto industry, potentially costing the U.S. economy a substantial amount over time.


The expansion of the UAW strike to include GM and Stellantis plants in the Chicago area signifies a significant development in the ongoing labor dispute. As negotiations continue, the implications for both the automotive industry and the broader economy remain uncertain.

Chicago’s Iconic Original Rainbow Cone Expands Beyond Borders

Chicago’s beloved Original Rainbow Cone, famous for its delightful summer treats, is embarking on an exciting journey. For the first time in its illustrious 97-year history, this iconic establishment is spreading its rainbow-hued goodness to a new location. In a major development, an Original Rainbow Cone shop is set to open in Bradenton, Florida, marking its debut out-of-state franchise.

The Historic Expansion:

In a momentous occasion scheduled for September 26, 2023, The Original Rainbow Cone will unveil its inaugural out-of-state franchise store in Bradenton, Florida. This endeavor represents a significant milestone for a brand deeply rooted in the heart of Chicago.

The Original Rainbow Cone Location:

The new store will find its home at 4414 53rd Avenue in Bradenton, strategically positioned approximately 45 miles to the south of Tampa. This carefully selected location brings the signature taste of Chicago’s Original Rainbow Cone to the sun-soaked shores of Florida, introducing a new audience to its delightful creations.

Lynn Sapp’s Enthusiasm:

Lynn Sapp, the third-generation owner of The Original Rainbow Cone, expressed her excitement about this expansion. “For nearly a century, we have been delighting Chicagoans with our unique flavors, creating a beloved destination that’s become a part of their lives,” said Sapp. She continued, “Today, we are equally thrilled to share our legacy and tradition with the wonderful people of Florida, aiming to establish the same cherished destination that has captivated generations in Chicago.”

A Stand-Alone Marvel:

Notably, the Bradenton location will mark the fourth stand-alone Original Rainbow Cone store and the first one located outside the boundaries of Illinois. The existing three stand-alone locations reside in or near Chicago, specifically in Beverly, Lombard, and Orland Park, with the latter opening its doors earlier this year. This expansion signifies the brand’s growing appeal beyond its hometown, becoming a beacon of delight for people across state lines.

Expanding Horizons:

In addition to this Florida venture, fans of the Original Rainbow Cone can also find its delectable treats in Indiana and Illinois at dual Buona Beef and Original Rainbow Cone locations. Furthermore, there’s even more exciting news on the horizon, with additional dual locations slated to open in 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee, as confirmed by a spokesperson. This strategic expansion ensures that more individuals across different regions can savor the one-of-a-kind flavors that have made this brand legendary.

A Nationwide Delight:

For those who can’t make it to these physical locations, fear not, as The Original Rainbow Cone offers nationwide shipping of its beloved treats. This means that regardless of your geographical location, you can have a taste of Chicago’s iconic summer treat delivered right to your doorstep, making it accessible to a wider audience.

A Slice of History:

The journey of The Original Rainbow Cone dates back to 1926 when it was founded in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood by the endearing “Grandpa Joe” Sapp. This charming establishment is renowned for its signature “Rainbow Cone,” a tantalizing creation that features five distinct ice cream slices, including chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House, pistachio, and orange sherbet, all beautifully stacked atop a cone. Over the decades, it has become a symbol of summer joy for generations of Chicagoans and now promises to do the same for Floridians and beyond.

In summary, the expansion of The Original Rainbow Cone to Bradenton, Florida, represents a significant step in its storied history, as it continues to bring joy and unique flavors to a broader audience. From its humble beginnings in Chicago to its future endeavors, this iconic establishment remains a true delight for all who experience it.

The Need for a Downtown Mexican Independence Day Celebration in Chicago

In the wake of recent Mexican Independence Day celebrations in Chicago, City Council members of Mexican descent are calling for a strategic solution to the congestion, chaos, and public safety issues that plagued the city. This article explores the events that unfolded, the concerns raised by council members, and the proposal for a downtown Mexican Independence Day parade or festival as a potential remedy.

Recent Chaos and Concerns

Over the weekend, Chicago experienced a surge in Mexican Independence Day celebrations that resulted in a range of problems. These included traffic congestion, street blockages, and public safety issues. Notably, at least two police officers were injured during the festivities, with one officer nearly losing half an ear. The overall impact included 86 arrests, primarily related to gun-related offenses and disorderly conduct.

Council Members’ Call for Action

Several City Council members of Mexican descent, including Ald. Brian Hopkins and Ald. Silvana Tabares, are advocating for a comprehensive solution to these issues. They emphasize the need for a centralized downtown parade or festival to celebrate Mexican American pride while mitigating the problems associated with ad hoc celebrations.

Proposal: A Downtown Parade or Festival

The proposed solution takes two forms: the resurrection of the downtown Mexican Independence Day parade, which was discontinued approximately a decade ago, or the creation of a daylong festival at a single site, possibly Grant Park. The aim is to provide a structured and organized event that allows the Mexican American community to express their ethnic pride without causing disruptions.

Public Reaction

The chaos of the recent celebrations has garnered mixed reactions from the public. While some appreciate the festivities, others express frustration at the disruption caused to residents and businesses. The need for a more organized and centrally located celebration is increasingly apparent.

Official Statements on Mexican Independence Day

City officials, including Mayor Brandon Johnson and Ald. Mike Rodriguez, acknowledge the importance of celebrating culture but stress the necessity of maintaining access for first responders and healthcare facilities. They express a commitment to finding better opportunities for the Mexican community to celebrate their culture in an organized manner.


The recent chaos and safety concerns during Mexican Independence Day celebrations in Chicago have highlighted the need for a well-structured downtown event. City Council members and officials are exploring options to create a centralized celebration that allows Mexican Americans to express their ethnic pride while minimizing disruptions. This proposal reflects a commitment to both cultural celebration and public safety.

Chicago Mayor’s Plan to Relocate Migrants from Police Stations to Winterized Camps

Mayor Brandon Johnson of Chicago has outlined a strategic plan to relocate approximately 1,600 asylum-seeking migrants from police stations to winterized camps with large tents before the onset of winter. This move comes as the city faces the challenges of housing and providing services to a growing number of migrants arriving from Texas. In this comprehensive breakdown, we delve into the details of Mayor Johnson’s plan and its implications.

Relocation to Winterized Camps:

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s initiative aims to ensure the safety and well-being of asylum-seeking migrants by transferring them from police stations to specialized winterized camps. These camps will feature substantial tents, each capable of accommodating up to 1,000 migrants. The primary objective is to execute these relocations before the weather conditions become unfavorable, emphasizing the city’s commitment to the welfare of these individuals.

Chicago Providing Essential Services:

Under Mayor Johnson’s plan, these winterized camps will not only serve as shelters but also provide essential services. Migrants residing in these camps will have access to meals, recreational activities, and educational programs. This comprehensive approach seeks to address not only the immediate housing crisis but also the broader needs of the migrant population.

Current Situation and Challenges:

As of now, Chicago houses 13,500 migrants across 16 shelters within the city. The cost of sheltering these migrants amounts to approximately $30 million per month. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, Mayor Johnson’s administration is collaborating with the State of Illinois and Cook County to establish additional shelters, alleviating the strain on Chicago’s existing facilities.

Addressing Desperation and Chaos:

Mayor Johnson underscores the importance of creating infrastructure to support and contain individuals who have experienced significant hardships and are currently in desperate situations. Chicago failing to provide adequate support could lead to chaos, highlighting the city’s commitment to maintaining order and ensuring the safety of both migrants and residents.

Future Plans and Questions:

While Mayor Johnson has unveiled parts of his plan, many questions remain unanswered. Specific details about the locations of these winterized base camps and the funding mechanisms are yet to be disclosed. The mayor’s office is actively exploring options to finance these initiatives, including a real estate transfer tax to expand services for mental health and unhoused individuals.

Current Shelter Situation:

Chicago currently operates 18 temporary shelters, accommodating over 6,800 occupants, with some migrants also staying in police stations and O’Hare Airport. The city continues to evaluate and adapt its approach to address the ongoing migrant crisis.

Rising Tensions:

Tensions have escalated in areas where migrants are currently housed, with reports of incidents involving migrants threatening and assaulting officers. Such incidents highlight the complexities associated with migrant housing and the need for comprehensive solutions.

Moving Forward:

As the city of Chicago faces increasing pressure, it remains committed to its status as a sanctuary city. The administration is actively working on a formal plan to address the migrant crisis, demonstrating its dedication to providing a safe haven for those in need.

Chicago Public Schools Teacher Injured in Shooting at White Sox Game

What Happened at the White Sox Game?

A recent shooting incident at Guaranteed Rate Field during a White Sox game has raised concerns as it left two women injured, including a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) teacher.

The incident, which occurred during the fourth inning, has prompted investigations into the source of the shots and the overall safety at the stadium.

Read also: Unraveling the Enigmatic Demise of Yevgeny Prigozhin: A Tale of Intrigue and Uncertainty


On Friday night, a shooting incident took place at Guaranteed Rate Field during a White Sox game against the Oakland Athletics.

The incident resulted in the injury of two women, both of whom sustained gunshot wounds. One of the injured women was identified as a CPS teacher, confirmed by a statement from CPS. The teacher’s identity, however, has not been officially disclosed.

CPS Statement and Well Wishes

The Chicago Public Schools issued a statement confirming the teacher’s injury, expressing concern for her well-being, and sending wishes for a speedy recovery. The CPS community extended its support to the injured staff member.

Police Report and Injuries

According to law enforcement officials, two women were injured during the incident. A 42-year-old woman suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, while a 26-year-old woman sustained a graze wound to the abdomen. The details of the shooting, including the source of the shots, are under investigation.

Legal Response and Denial

An attorney representing the woman shot in the leg denied reports suggesting that she had brought a firearm into the park and accidentally fired it. The attorney emphasized that the gunshot wound was not self-inflicted and was not the result of an accidental discharge.

Details of the Injured Woman

The woman who suffered a gunshot wound to the leg is reported to be a White Sox season ticket holder and holds a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card. Despite her injuries, she has not been charged with any crime.

Investigation and Public Safety Measures

The incident has raised questions about the security measures at the stadium.

While details about the source of the shots remain under investigation, Chicago’s Interim Police Superintendent Fred Waller indicated that it is unlikely the shots came from outside the ballpark.

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) and White Sox security are working together to ensure public safety.

Public Response and Mayor’s Comments

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson was informed of the shooting shortly after it occurred. He refrained from commenting on the decision to continue the game after the incident, emphasizing that the investigation is ongoing.

The mayor acknowledged the thoroughness of the police investigation and assured that more information would be shared as it becomes available.

Witness Accounts and Safety Concerns

Witnesses at the stadium expressed surprise at the lack of awareness regarding the incident. Some mentioned that people were going about their activities as if nothing had happened. Witness accounts varied, with some describing finding a bullet and others noting the absence of immediate evacuation.

“People were going in and out of the section like nothing happened,” said Jennifer Yolich, a citizen at the scene.

“It was stuck in the back of her hoodie, like how does that happen? It just flew,” she said.

“If someone got shot, I mean you should probably evacuate right? Nothing was done,” Yolich said. “The fans didn’t know what happened, the staff didn’t know what happened, I’m sure the players didn’t know what happened. It kind of puts everyone at risk.”

Medical Response

Dr. Jeanne Farnan, a spectator at the game, provided medical assistance to the injured women. She treated a woman with a leg wound and another with a graze wound to the stomach. Dr. Farnan’s actions highlight the importance of immediate medical attention during such incidents.

Investigation to Continue 

The shooting incident at Guaranteed Rate Field during a White Sox game has ignited discussions about stadium safety and public awareness. As investigations continue, it is crucial to address concerns related to security protocols and emergency responses to ensure the safety of attendees at future events.

iFLY Lincoln Park Soars to New Heights

If you’re in the market for an exciting experience in the Chicago area, consider iFLY Chicago (Lincoln Park) for your next adventure. Approximately 15,000 people visit the location annually. Here’s what keeps them coming back for more high-flying fun.

The state-of-the-art Lincoln Park facility has much to offer guests. Approximately 250 people a day can fly inside the patented iFLY Generation 6, a 12-foot recirculating vertical wind tunnel. Guests come to experience the thrill of freefall simulation as they float on iFLY’s wall-to-wall air. It’s a must-do experience for adrenaline seekers. However, the Chicago area branch also offers an educational STEM Program, a popular field trip for area schools and groups like the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and corporate events.

Dave Genovese, general manager of iFLY Lincoln Park, says, “Day visitors from Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin comprise about one-third of our visitors, and a quarter of guests hail from areas outside of the Midwest.” However, within the Chicagoland area, the majority of visitors come from the west and south sides of the Windy City.

What Sets iFLY Chicago Apart From Other Family-Friendly Experiences?

Genovese says the Chicago location “offers an experience unlike any other.” Of course, the majority of visitors are eager to soar to new heights. But even people afraid of elevation or jumping out of an aircraft can enjoy the experience.

“The flight package with a High Flight upgrade is the most popular,” says Genovese. The High Flight upgrade is the ultimate thrill. First-time flyers typically float on air inside the vertical wind tunnel, approximately 3 to 6 feet above the net, within arm’s reach of the world-class instructor.

When guests choose the High Flight add-on, the instructor guides the student somewhere between 10 and 20 feet above the net. This YouTube video is an excellent example of a high flight at iFLY Chicago Lincoln Park.

It’s a popular pick for birthday parties. Party attendees have the option to fly inside the vertical wind tunnel. In addition, they receive first-timer training lessons, a flight suit, and goggles as part of the preflight process. A private room, pizza, and beverages are included in the cost of having a gathering at the facility.

It’s also a popular place to have corporate events. “It is an immersive experience,” says Genovese. “It’s very unique and a great way [to facilitate] team bonding.”

Additionally, the academic science, technology, engineering, and math program is incredibly popular. “At iFLY Lincoln Park, we host one or two STEM events daily during both the week and on weekends,” explains Genovese. So why should a teacher or scout leader consider bringing a group to the vertical wind tunnel? “It offers real-life applications to physics and the natural world,” says Genovese. “The vertical wind tunnel is a very visual piece of physics,” agrees Ellie Davis, Chicago area sales manager.

“It’s educational, but more importantly, it’s fun,” says Genovese.

Delivering the Dream of Flight

There are three locations in the Chicago area. In addition to the Lincoln Park facility, there are two slightly larger iFLY spaces in Naperville and Rosemont. The vertical wind tunnels are a popular tourist attraction, notes Genovese, adding that tourists make up the bulk of their customer base.

A report from Choose Chicago, the official destination marketing organization for the city, stated that in 2021 over 30 million tourists visited Chicago. Lynn Osmond, Choose Chicago’s president, said that by the end of 2023, the city’s tourism numbers are expected to return to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels.

And iFLY is ready to give them the time of their lives. The facility, which opened in 2016, prides itself on being able to fly people of all ages and abilities. “If you can relax and let the wind do the work, it’s very accessible,” says Genovese.

Guests lean into the tunnel and let the air lift them up. There are numerous flight packages available for visitors to choose from so they can select the right option for their budget and experience level. 

First-time flyers are accompanied in the wind by a world-class flight instructor who has passed a rigorous training course. It takes approximately six months to become a fully certified instructor and then about 100 hours of training a year to get to higher-level training positions. “The instructor supervises the experience, and you’re just along for the ride,” said CEO Matt Ryan. “The vast majority of our customers fall into out-of-home family entertainment, one-on-one experience with an instructor category.”

Beginners start out on their stomachs. “Over time, if you keep going, you’ll transition to your back; you’ll be able to fly on your back, then you’ll be able to sit fly, and ultimately, you can head-down fly. And that’s a very small percentage of the population,” said Ryan.

What makes Chicago a great location for multiple vertical wind tunnel facilities? “We want to be in locations where families come to eat, drink, shop, and be entertained. You won’t find us isolated,” said Ryan.

When you’re ready to fly like an eagle in Chicago, visit the Lincoln Park location to get started on your memorable journey.

Chicago mayoral race debate was heated

Chicago The mayoral candidates in Chicago sparred on Thursday night in a televised debate ahead of the April 4 runoff.

This is the latest big-city mayoral election to put people’ perspectives on crime and policing to the test.

Paul Vallas accused opponent Brandon Johnson of supporting the “defund the police” movement.

Nevertheless, Johnson, a lefty, criticized Vallas’ attempts to expand police officer recruitment as slow and ineffective.

The two mayoral contenders have said that they are Democrats competing in a nonpartisan election.

They advanced to the runoff when incumbent Lori Lightfoot lost her reelection campaign after finishing third in the February 28 primary.

The candidates

Chicago is a Democratic stronghold, with 83% of residents backing President Joseph Biden in the 2020 presidential race.

Johnson and Vallas, although professing to be members of the same party, are on opposing sides of the party’s schism on police problems.

The more conservative candidate is Paul Vallas, a former public school administrator who has the backing of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police.

His campaign revolves around being pro-police and tough on crime.

Vallas vowed to lower the number of municipal police officers while boosting the number of policemen stationed on CTA buses and trains.

Brandon Johnson is a progressive Cook County commissioner who has the backing of the Chicago Teachers Union.

While Johnson has periodically backed the “defund the cops” movement, he has maintained that he would not cut police spending.

Instead, he plans to boost his investments in underserved areas.

The debate

Johnson and Vallas sparred verbally at the mayoral candidate discussion on ABC 7 on Thursday.

Johnson’s prior remarks, in which he broadly favored diverting taxpayer money away from enforcement and toward community-based projects, were brought up by Vallas.

“I’m not going to defund the police, and you know that. You know that,” Johnson responded.

“I have passed multi-billion dollar budgets, over and over again.”

Brandon Johnson went on to announce that he will recruit 200 extra detectives to assist in the investigation of more serious offenses.

He also indicated that he will strive to prevent gun violence by enforcing stronger “red flag” legislation.

Red flag laws allow judges to temporarily seize firearms from those who are judged dangerous to themselves or others.

“The best way to engender confidence in public safety, you’ve got to catch people,” said Johnson.

Similarly, Paul Vallas vowed to quickly fill thousands of police posts.

He intends to station officers in communities and on public transit once the jobs are filled.

“There is no substitute for returning to community-based policing,” said Vallas.

“You can’t have confidence in the safety of public transportation when there are no police officers at the platforms and police officers at the stations.”

As violence in Chicago rose between 2020 and 2021, the mayoral election in Chicago has become increasingly focused on crime.

Shootings and killings have fallen, but other crimes have grown, according to the Chicago Police Department’s 2022 year-end report.

  • Burglaries
  • Car-jacking
  • Robberies
  • Theft

Read also: Lori Lightfoot fails to advance mayoral reelection

A turn in the race

Paul Vallas stood above the fray in the prior discussion, while Brandon Johnson went on the offensive.

Everything changed on Thursday night when Vallas launched an all-out assault in the opening few minutes of the debate, changing the race into a contender with only three debates and three candidate forums remaining.

Vallas attacked Johnson’s proposal to boost hotel and airline fuel taxes, as well as a $4-per-head corporation tax and a higher sales tax on high-end real estate.

Brandon Johnson stated that Vallas is seeking increased spending on public safety without explaining how he intends to fund it.

“You can’t run a multi-billion dollar budget off of bake sales,” he said.

Vallas then chastised Johnson’s participation in school closures.

Brandon Johnson is a teacher who has openly clashed with Lori Lightfoot on the reintroduction of in-person classes.

According to Vallas, 15 months of closures is not an investment in people.

Johnson said that Paul Vallas was making a Republican argument by condemning school closures due to the epidemic.

“That’s a part of your party,” he said.

Johnson attempted to paint Vallas as being too conservative for the blue metropolis.


President Joseph Biden, Illinois Senators Dick Turbin and Tammy Duckworth, and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker all declined to participate in the runoff.

Nonetheless, other national voices have endorsed Brandon Johnson, including:

  • Bernie Sanders
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Jim Clyburn

Johnson, according to Sanders, has been a champion for Chicago’s working families.

Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Chicago County Board, also supported Johnson.

But, city alderman and former Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has endorsed Paul Vallas.

Lori Lightfoot fails to advance mayoral reelection

Lori LightfootThe city of Chicago has seen substantial transformations as its political dynamics have shifted.

Lori Lightfoot, the city’s mayor, did not place in the top two in the April runoff.

The development is the first time in over 40 years that a full-term incumbent Chicago mayor has lost reelection.

The news

Lori Lightfoot did not make the top two for the runoff on Tuesday, indicating how the political situation has evolved.

In recent years, Chicago has become the third large city to hold a mayoral election that puts public opinion to the test, notably with crime and policing.

Lori Lightfoot placed third in a nine-person municipal election field, with support from around one in every six Chicago voters.

She is the first Chicago mayor to lose reelection in 40 years.

Lightfoot’s term

Lori Lightfoot battled with police and teachers’ unions during her tenure.

At the same time, she had a chilly relationship with city councilors and Illinois’ Democratic governor, severing ties with a number of powerful friends.

Violence has escalated under Lori Lightfoot’s leadership, making voters nervous.

Chicago’s public transit system was likewise plagued by delays and service deficiencies.

While she was praised for her handling of the Coronavirus outbreak, Chicago’s economic recovery left much to be desired.

Violence in the Second City

While crime in Chicago increased in 2020 and 2021, Lightfoot’s performance highlighted her focus on public safety.

Shootings and homicides have fallen, according to the Chicago Police Department’s 2022 year-end report.

Nevertheless, additional crimes began to become an issue, such as:

  • Burglaries
  • Car-jacking
  • Robberies


The mayoral election has focused on crime and public safety, demonstrating that voter opinions have shifted.

Lori Lightfoot campaigned as a police reformer four years ago, promising to alter how cops are supervised and penalized.

In 2019, she came in first place in a crowded mayoral race, garnering 17.5% of the vote.

“We can and will remake Chicago,” Lightfoot vowed.

Despite the mayor’s first-round victory in 2019, it would subsequently play a factor in the mayor’s future troubles.

Lori Lightfoot was elected to a position considered a “political lightning rod” because she lacked a steady support base.

Throughout the campaigns, her toughness was a key selling factor, but it lost her supporters.

Read also: East Palestine is GOP’s next investigation


Lori Lightfoot disagreed with teacher and police unions prior to (and during) the pandemic, which cost her the election in 2023 because the groups favored competitors.

A dispute with the Chicago Teachers Union in 2019 over compensation and class size resulted in an 11-day walkout as she attempted to cut expenditures.

They fought again in 2022, when Lightfoot attempted to get instructors to return to the classrooms in the face of mounting Covid cases.

The union backed Brandon Johnson, who was previously unknown outside of the Chicago County commission area, in the fall.

“Chicago is ready to break with the politics of the past that ignore the needs of our students, their families, and school communities,” said Stacy Davis Gates, the union president.

Lori Lightfoot also alienated police last year during a spat over overtime pay in a department struggling to attract and retain officers.

Lightfoot contended the cops had more than ample vacation time.

The fight was one of the worst in the administration’s years-long feud with the police as she fought to cut on overtime spending.

Paul Vallas was sponsored by the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police.

Vallas has previously served as a school superintendent in the following areas:

  • Chicago
  • Philadelphia
  • New Orleans
  • Bridgeport
  • Connecticut

He also aired a pro-police ad, referencing cops in his family.

Conservative voters were drawn in by Vallas’ tough-on-crime campaign.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown announced his departure this month on Wednesday, giving the next mayor the opportunity to bring in fresh leadership to the department.

A focus on crime

The political winds in Chicago are similar to those in New York, where former police captain Mayor Eric Adams was elected in 2021.

Last year, former Rep. Karen Bass defeated Richard Caruso, a millionaire developer who spent millions on a law-and-order campaign.

Bass won by proposing more police officers and declaring a state of emergency to handle the homelessness epidemic.

Although their comparable messages, Vallas and Adams vary in that Vallas is White and Adams is Black.

Vallas and Johnson gained more support from Chicago’s predominately White north side.

Lori Lightfoot, on the other hand, enjoyed backing from Black communities in the south and west.

The two outcomes highlight the significance of the runoff, which will be a struggle to gain the support of Black voters.

Johnson showed hints of uniting liberals who backed other names in the nine-person field, naming each contender individually.

“If you voted for one of those other candidates, I want you to know that I’m running to be the mayor of you, too,” he said.

Meanwhile, Vallas tweeted that he is running to be a mayor for all of Chicago because “public safety is a human right and people in every neighborhood deserve to feel safe.”

SamBoat Sets Sail in Chicago

If you’ve ever gazed at the sails and motorboats on Lake Michigan and wished to be on the glittering water yourself, there’s good news — chartered yacht rentals are now available in Chicago through SamBoat.

“SamBoat’s first boats in Chicago have just been uploaded to the website,” says Robert Harrington, the company’s US Country Manager. “We’ve launched our fleet in Chicago several months ahead of the warmer summer season so people can start planning and reserving their yachts well ahead of time. You can now book for the summer holidays (Juneteenth, July 4th or Labor Day), as well as the events you have coming up this summer, such as weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries.”

SamBoat enables ordinary people to rent their own boats through a simple and secure online platform. “The idea is new and is based upon the sharing economy we’ve seen explode over the past half a decade,” Harrington says. “Renting a boat has never been easier. It’s now just as easy as booking yourself an Uber or Lyft. It’s very much like Airbnb, except instead of renting a home, you would be renting a boat or yacht.”

How SamBoat works

SamBoat rentals are located along Chicago’s shoreline of Lake Michigan at a variety of different yacht clubs and berths. Rentals can last anywhere from a couple of hours or days to even weeks or months. For those who don’t know how to skipper a yacht themselves, many listings include the possibility of hiring a crew.

The website is a simple, easy-to-use interface. Just specify your port of embarkation and the dates for your trip, as well as the kind of boat you are interested in: motor or sailboat. Click on “Search,” and a list of appropriate options will appear. Photographs of the sleek hulls immediately deliver a thrill — which yacht can you see yourself driving over the waves or sunbathing on?

The website also allows you to choose the order in which listings appear. One option gives you recommended boats first, while another shows you the options from least to most expensive. It’s also possible to sort the listings by previous customers’ highest average rating.

Once you click on a particular listing, that boat’s web page comes up with more details, such as its length, year of manufacture, and horsepower. More photographs will pop up, and some will even show you the yacht’s interior, as well as the staterooms or cockpit. Each listing has a clear description of the boat’s additional features, such as Bluetooth audio, kitchen, wet bar, or sun pad.

The service also opens up opportunities for those who own yachts. “Boat owners can make money by offering their boats for rent through our platform,” Harrington says. “This can help offset costs while you’re not utilizing the boat yourself. Otherwise, you can turn your boat into a full-time money-making operation.”

Chicagoans would rightly feel lucky to have such possibilities at their fingertips. Harrington feels the same way about Chicago.

Why Chicago is the perfect fit

“Chicago is a great place to get out on the water, especially during the warmer months,” Harrington says. “It’s not only one of the largest cities in the country, but also one of the hotbeds for tech startups. While SamBoat is based in Bordeaux, France, we needed to have a presence in such a large, dynamic, influential American city.”

No other operator offers the ease, reliability, and affordability that SamBoat brings to this market. “The alternatives haven’t always lived up to Chicagoans’ expectations in terms of customer service and price,” Harrington explains. “We’re excited to finally offer a solution that will live up to expectations.”

According to Harrington, SamBoat is better than the other options in Chicago for several reasons. “We have flexible payment options and payment plans,” he says. “There’s no need to shell out the full amount of your yacht charter months in advance. We are also happy to come up with a personalized plan for you.”

He also referenced SamBoat’s fantastic selection. “You’re bound to find the perfect yacht for your day on the water, whether it’s a 30-footer or a 70-footer,” he says. “There’s no need to browse for hours looking through different websites.” SamBoat’s flexible cancellation policies ensure stress-free booking.

SamBoat is also less expensive than other boat booking websites. “For the same exact boats,” Harrington observes. “Why pay more for the same experience? Keep that extra money for a few bottles of champagne while on your yacht charter.”

Other places SamBoat operates in the US

According to Harrington, SamBoat is available in basically all the large coastal US cities, from California to Florida and up to New England. “We’ve especially seen rapid growth in South Florida at ports like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach,” he notes. “The company is growing at a rapid pace; we’ve recently added Mexico and the Caribbean with a particular focus on the beautiful resort cities of Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, and Cancun.”

Nothing compares to the serenity and satisfaction of blue mind. That unparalleled experience is what SamBoat is bringing to Chicago and other ports throughout the US.

“Above all, we’re always trying to share our love of the water as broadly as possible,” Harrington says. “At the end of the day, some of your very best memories will be time spent on the water. We’re excited to help people create those memories.”