A lot going on, or preparing to go on:
* Greg Hinz:
If I were a member of the Chicago Teachers Union, I would vote for that strike authorization today. Mayor Rahm Emanuel hasn't given me much choice.
Then I would pray — a lot — that a strike never occurs.
The realpolitik'll make sense; it has a lot to do with an ad paid for by "a collection of 'concerned' business types here and in New York." PAC money buys a lot of concern.
* Ramsin Canon on the mechanics and social conditions behind the strike vote and how SB7 might backfire; also some good nonintuitive thinking:
Now, it is looking like Stand's strategy might backfire, if teachers ultimately vote to authorize a strike. After all, the question teachers will vote on is whether to authorize a strike, not whether to go on strike. Arguably, winning an authorization vote by 50%+1 would not be a real show of strength. A significant portion of teachers would have expressed their opposition to a strike, and maintaining the strike, once called, would be exceedingly difficult. The organizational capacity teachers build by being forced to get over 75% means a resilient strike, should things come to that, and a battle-tempered organization prepared to push hard during negotiations.
* Aaron Renn makes some good points, asks some of the good questions behind the south-side Red Line rebuild/shutdown, like: why did the CTA go through a substantial south-side Red Line upgrade a few years ago and now requires a complete shutdown?
* Chicago-L.org (which is just an amazing resource) has an account of that rehab, which took approximately six months in 2004 and involved extensive use of shoo-fly tracks around the affected areas. Overall Renn's in favor of the timetable, and makes some salient comparisons to the Brown Line rehab work.
* Steve Edwards talked to Forrest Claypool about the Red Line rebuild, and Edwards broke some news—the same thing will happen at some point in the near future, though it will likely be staggered. Claypool goes into a bit of detail about why.
* The Woodstock Institute's Katie Buitrago talks about the potential political role of reducing negative equity in the Chicagoland area and elsewhere, in the wake of their report "Struggling to Stay Afloat: Negative Equity in Communities of Color in the Chicago Six County Region." Here's a sample:
* One story that's been a bit under the radar is the fight over a planned private immigration detention center in Crete; it's well worth catching up on; here's a piece on private prisons and immigration that will put it in a national context.
Photograph: rseidel3 (CC by 2.0)