Picking sides / How safe’s your money? / ‘Excuse me, I shouldn’t say that’

Picking sides. Chicago mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson’s landed an endorsement from Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.
Your next-round Chicago Public Square voter guide—for the city and the suburbs—is taking shape.

Shovel-ready. The Chicago City Council today gets a proposal that would put the city in charge of clearing at least some sidewalks of snow and ice.
A downtown stretch of State Street sidewalk has been closed alongside two decaying buildings that the federal government wants to demolish but that preservationists want to save.

How safe’s your money? In the face of rising concern about the stability of the U.S. banking industry, The Associated Press outlines steps to consider if you have more than $250,000 in a single account …
 … and goes behind the scenes to detail how the feds came to the rescue after Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse.
Slow Boring columnist Matt Yglesias sees this moral: “America needs more giant banks. … The real danger comes from the medium-sized ones.”
A U.S. senator is demanding the government “claw back” bonuses paid to SVB’s execs.
A University of Illinois law professor debunks the notion that “wokeness” triggered the bank’s collapse: “It’s like saying, ‘Why isn’t blue the answer to 1 plus 1?’ It’s Banking 101. That’s what was going on.”
 The Onion puts words in the mouths of tech moguls: “Oh no, whatever shall we do with all these lobbyists we have on retainer to pressure the government to bail us out?”
Popular Information’s cynical take: No bailouts for poor kids or homeowners.

‘Long COVID is annoyingly stubborn.’ Your Local Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina’s update: “Our knowledge is inching closer to treatments.”
Block Club: A newly released indictment accuses a suburban man of taking $83 million from the feds for a COVID lab where workers tossed tests and gave people fake results.
Flashback to Chicago Public Square, March 16, 2020: “Gov. Pritzker has ordered all Illinois bars and restaurants to shut their doors to dine-in customers by the end of the day.”

Pollution and the Constitution. A new study suggests the wide variance in environmental fines across different states runs afoul of the due process clause.
Preliminary tests indicate Chicago drinking water falls within the tighter new limits the EPA’s imposing on so-called “forever chemicals.”
Over the environmental and safety objections of Metra, a coalition of suburban communities and Illinois’ congressional delegation, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board has OK’d the merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern—a plan likely to increase freight traffic through the region.

‘Most Americans go shopping thinking someone … is protecting them from things that will kill their children.’ But, complaining that government’s been dropping the ball, Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky is pushing legislation that would give the Consumer Product Safety Commission power to launch and publicize kids-product recalls without manufacturers’ permission.
Honda’s recalling half a million vehicles to fix defective front seat belts.

‘Excuse me, I shouldn’t say that.’ President Biden blurted out that Jimmy Carter’s asked him to deliver the eulogy at Carter’s funeral.
Biden’s undoing a Trump-era land swap that threatened an Alaska wildlife refuge originally protected under Carter.

Correction. Yesterday’s Square bore a bad link to Esquire columnist Charlie Pierce’s piece, “Drilling for Alaskan oil may be good politics, but it still ends badly for everyone.”
Thanks to reader Jim Parks for flagging the problem.

A Chicago Public Square advertiser:

Skillshare offers thousands of classes in subjects ranging from creative arts to business and technology. Expert instructors guide you every step of the way—as a community of passionate learners provides support and inspiration. Whether you’re looking to learn something new or enhance your existing skills, Skillshare has something for you. And now get one month free.

Subscribe to Square.