All posts by elizabethstewart2020

Microbrew with a macro vision: New Haymarket honey ale highlights industry’s need for diversity

By Beth Stewart
Medill Reports

A love letter to Chicago from two of its native sons — the soon-to-be-released Harold’s ’83 Honey Ale from Haymarket Brewing hopes to spark an important conversation about a thriving industry severely lacking in diversity.

Two independent brewers, Jay Westbrook and Samuel Ross III, are the brains behind the brew which Ross characterizes as “unapologetically Chicago and unapologetically black.”

The name is a nod to the election of Chicago’s first African American mayor, Harold Washington, in 1983 and a wink to another beloved Chicago institution.

“Our target audience eats Harold’s chicken at least twice a week,” Ross explained.

The well-rounded honey ale goes down easy with a subtle sweetness throughout and smooth finish. Continue reading

Let the girls play: How one girl’s love of baseball opened doors for hundreds more

By Beth Stewart
Medill Reports

When Taylor Daniels got cut from her all boys baseball team at age 13, she didn’t let that roadblock stop her from playing the sport she loved. Instead, she addressed the setback by building her own playing field, the organization Illinois Girls Baseball.

The non-profit organization, which the Winnetka teen co-founded with her father Rob Daniels in 2015, creates opportunities for girls to play baseball with other girls at camps, clinics, and tournaments with hopes of eventually building an all girls baseball league in Illinois. Continue reading

Local officials bring mock Warren, Sanders debate to Chicago stage

By Beth Stewart
Medill Reports

As Chicagoans prepare to cast their vote in the Democratic Presidential primary on March 17, many took a closer look at the campaign platforms of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders during a mock debate at the Hideout Inn in West Town.

Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson and 35th Ward Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa debated in the roles of Warren and Sanders respectively during the First Tuesdays event hosted by Ben Joravsky and Maya Dukmasova of the Chicago Reader.

Less than 24 hours after the Iowa caucus debacle, with still only 62% of the results reported at the time, the standing-room only crowd packed into the Hideout was buzzing with excitement even before the event began.

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City Council debates options for community police oversight

By Beth Stewart
Medill Reports

The Chicago City Council’s first 2020 Public Safety Committee hearing on community police oversight  brought together a panel of experts from Omaha, L.A., New York University and the University of Chicago to offer the latest research and and best practices for police accountability.

However, with less than two days’ notice for the January 23 hearing, many Chicago activists and organizers showed up to remind the committee that other experts were also in the room – everyday Chicagoans affected by police violence.

Recommendations focused on an elected body that oversees police.
Over the next month, the council will be debating and voting on one of two recommended ordinances to create such a body.

In 2018 the city spent more than $113 million on cases related to police misconduct, including $16 million paid to the family of Bettie Jones, shot and killed by Officer Robert Rialmo in December 2015. It is no secret that community and police relations are more than strained.

The lack of trust, many activists in attendance explained, dates back to the 1969 police killing of Chicago civil rights leader and Black Panther leader  Fred Hampton during a raid. The tenure of former Police Commander Jon Burge from 1971 to 1991, who was accused of torture but never prosecuted added to the deep mistrust. The 2014 shooting of teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke, since convicted on murder, brought relations to a breaking point.

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Soup & Bread returns to the Hideout Inn for ‘pay-what-you-can’ meals

By Beth Stewart
Medill Reports

Home cooks and local chefs volunteer to serve up hot soups from crock pots to patrons for a “pay-what-you-can” meal through the Soup & Bread benefit at the Hideout Inn at 1354 W. Waubonsia Ave. All are welcome at the weekly Wednesday benefit that has been raising funds for local food pantries and hunger relief organizations for 12 winters.

“Charitable events in the food world often have a really high ticket,” Soup & Bread founder Martha Bayne says. That’s fine, she says, “But this is deliberately the opposite of that.”

Philosophically, she explains, she is committed to creating a space where people gather over a hot meal and can pay what they can to support their community, even if that means they pay nothing. Continue reading