Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Monday, February 27, 2017.
Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel invited a group of tourists from a Hollywood tour bus to the Dolby Theatre for the Oscars, and one of them, who identified himself as "Gary from Chicago," went viral. E! News declared him the "biggest star inside the 2017 Oscars." Gary was a natural at Hollywood's most prestigious awards show, charming celebrities, taking selfies, and kissing Nicole Kidman's hand. Capitalizing on the viral moment, the Chicago Bulls and Bears immediately reached out to him on social media with offers of gifts. [New York Daily News] [E! News]
Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson is frustrated with lawmakers in Springfield for failing to pass harsher penalties for repeat gun offenders, according to the Sun-Times. "They promised me that we would have something done in January. We're at the end of February," he said at a news conference Friday. He's now counting on state senator Kwame Raoul and state rep Elgie Sims Jr., who are currently drafting a bill. He noted that both Raoul and Sims are "supportive of CPD." [Sun-Times]
President Donald Trump has a fraught relationship with Chicago. Despite owning the Trump International Hotel and Tower in River North, Trump seems to "barely gets through a few days without sounding off on Chicago violence, often casting the nation's third largest city as a war-torn wasteland," according to Politico. Although the gun violence has been surging in Chicago for more than a year, some local elected officials tie Trump's animosity back to his canceled March 2016 campaign rally at UIC Pavilion. "I think the president is still upset that we did not allow him to use our city as a backdrop for a campaign stop," 35th Ward alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa told Politico. "We didn't give him a forum. I think he's still getting over that." [Politico]
More than 200 activists gathered in Boystown Saturday to march and rally for transgender rights after the Trump administration revoked a federal mandate that allowed transgender public school students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their gender. "We are not asking for nothing special; we are asking for what everyone else has: dignity, respect, protection and justice," the president of the TransLatina Coalition's Chicago chapter Maritxa Vidal told the crowd during the rally. [Tribune]
Chicago Public Schools cut budgets midyear by $31 million. DNAinfo Chicago has broken down the cuts school by school, including the originally announced $46 million in cuts, and has explained how much money was restored to the schools after CPS scaled back the cuts. [DNAinfo Chicago]
An upcoming Chicago Fire episode based on the deadly Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, California, is sparking controversy on social media. Family and friends of the victims and Bay Area locals are upset that the episode is airing on NBC just months after 36 people lost their lives in the fire. "This is horrible and tasteless," Eric Bateman, who lost friends in the fire, told San Francisco Magazine. "To think about them filming actors as extras pretending to be our friends running for their lives while they're in a fire, that's horrifying." [Thump]