Let’s go, Brandon / 34 for 45 / ‘The most terrified I have ever felt’

Let’s go, Brandon. In what Politico’s Shia Kapos dubs “a stunner,” Chicagoans swung left to elect Brandon Johnson the city’s next mayor.
The Tribune: Johnson was able to turn his standing around with a swell of grassroots energy—coupled with his charm as a gifted public speaker.”
See his victory speech. [Correction, April 6: “Chicago chose hope over fear” was a quote from Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates, not Brandon Johnson.]
Here’s Paul Vallas’ concession to Johnson: “I look forward to … providing him with the full support he needs to be successful.”
The Associated Press calls it “a momentous win” as progressives across the country seek more state and local offices.
Columnist Neil Steinberg, weary after the long campaign: “Maybe Chicagoans … decided, barely, to take a chance on a 47-year-old former schoolteacher … with more hope than experience.”
Axios: “While some older voters dropped out after the February election, thousands of young people jumped in and made their voices heard” …
 … but the Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet sees it differently: “The youngest people in Chicago just don’t want to vote.”
 Her colleague Natalie Moore: “How will the Black establishment try to curry favor with the new mayor they shunned?”
Block Club Chicago maps how your neighborhood voted for mayor.
On a night when he might have been at Johnson’s side, U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia was instead mourning the death of his daughter.

Back for more. Scandal-scarred Ald. Jim Gardiner has won reelection to the City Council …
 … and Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth has won an upset on the North Side.
Axios surveys other council race results …
 … and Block Club has the numbers.
Better Government Association policy analyst Geoffrey Cubbage: Now’s the time to overhaul an antiquated system of hiring and firing City Council committee staffers.

Across the suburbs …
A Republican-funded mayoral candidate apparently landed the Naperville mayor’s job.
Most of a book-banning slate of candidates looked like losers in the Wheaton Warrenville District 200 school board race.

‘It was really about saving our democracy.’ In a race watched nationwide for its implications on abortion rights and the next presidential race, a Democrat won a key seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
In pivotal North Carolina, a Democratic representative is switching parties—giving Republicans a veto-proof legislative majority that could cement conservative initiatives on abortion, immigration and voting.

34 for 45. Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, has now been formally charged with 34 felony counts.
Intelligencer on the early scene outside the courtroom: “There were so few pro-Trump protesters that reporters had to effectively line up to talk to them.”
Stephen Colbert on Trump’s courtroom entrance: “It’s not often you see a door hitting an ass on the way in.”
Media critic Tom Jones on TV coverage of the festivities: “Historic? Yes. Fascinating? That might be stretching it.”
The story was big enough to prompt Jon Stewart’s return to The Daily Show.
Public Notice: “Don’t let the media’s Trump obsession distract you from rising red state fascism.”

‘The most terrified I have ever felt.’ Columnist Matt Baron shares his encounter with yesterday’s storm, “looking through your windshield as garbage cans and other heavy objects start whistling toward you” …
 … and his video captures the devastation in the home of Oak Park’s celebrated Festival Theatre, Austin Gardens.
Chicago’s bad weather included golf-ball-sized hail yesterday, with more high winds possible through this afternoon.

Highland Park’s enduring trauma. Minutes after high school students in a community traumatized by a mass shooting on the Fourth of July walked out yesterday to demand gun control legislation, reports of a possible gun triggered a lockdown …

‘A solid kickoff.’ Critic Richard Roeper gives The Super Mario Bros. Movie three stars.
Looper: The movie pays tribute to an old video game trick.

A ‘real or fake’ quiz. The Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri wants to know if you can tell Real Historical Documents from the phonies she’s concocted …
 … in a shameless promo for her new book, Important American Documents (I Made Up).
Speaking of history: Happy Portillo’s Day, celebrating the 60th anniversary of a Chicago institution launched as a hot dog joint in Villa Park.

Square mailbag. Reader Amy Parker repudiates a letter published in yesterday’s edition:
“Oh, please. The reader who comments that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ characterization of New York prosecutor Alvin Bragg as ‘Soros backed’ is not an antisemitic slur? Wrong, wrong, wrong. Using Soros as a descriptor is absolutely antisemitic; it is a well-known dog-whistle to white Christian nationalists, and has been used extensively to denigrate both Jews and progressives around the world, notably in Hungary by its unsavory leader, Victor Orban. Jews absolutely know this, as do those who wish them harm.”

Thank you.
Chuck Mackie made this edition better.

A Square advertiser

This week only! Set inside a contemporary boxing ring at the Museum of Contemporary Art with the audience seated on all four sides, Shamel Pitts and Afrocentric collective TRIBE debut an electrifying live performance exploring the power of vulnerability and human connection: Touch of RED.

Learn more about this performance and save 20% on tickets to all three performances in the MCA’s On Stage: Frictions series here.

Subscribe to Square.